Planet Rugby

Nine-try Saracens cruise

14th December 2013 16:51

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Duncan Taylor stepping for Saracens

Two tries: Duncan Taylor

Saracens racked up the points against Zebre on Saturday as they won 64-3 against the Italian side at Allianz Park.

The result came as no real surprise given the form of the two teams heading into this fixture, but Sarries deserve credit for their enterprise in attack.

An inauspicious start to the game suggested a more arduous encounter, as Owen Farrell took the opportunity in the first minute to edge the hosts in front.

But the red and black machine kicked into gear soon after, with David Strettle crossing for the game's first try after snapping up Ben Ransom's neat pass.

Farrell converted fantastically from the touchline to make it 10-0 after just four minutes, and the hosts smelt blood.

Jacques Burger then powered through the chaos to score under a heap of bodies, and though Farrell was wide this time, he was on target twice more in the first half as Sarries piled on the pain.

Jamie George crossed for Sarries' third try on 21 minutes, before Richard Wigglesworth crossed after Chris Ashton had created the opportunity with a fine break.

That made it 29-0 with less than half an hour played, though Zebre were able to stem the tide for the remainder of the first period, and Luciano Orquera managed to get the visitors on the scoresheet with a penalty goal.

But normal service resumed after the break, as Sarries crossed for five more tries, all converted by the impressive Farrell, and further demonstrated their attacking prowess in front of a delighted audience.

Jamie George and Billy Vunipola laid the platform for Ransom to cross, before Duncan Taylor snapped up Wigglesworth's pass to score.

Taylor grabbed his second on the hour after Farrell had helped craft an opportunity, Vunipola powered over for a deserved score, and the rout was complete in the final minute, when the excellent Ashton swan-dived over in trademark style.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Strettle, Burger, George, Wigglesworth, Ransom, Taylor 2, B Vunipola, Ashton
Con: Farrell 8
Pen: Farrell

For Zebre:
Pen: Orquera

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 James Johnston, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Ben Ransom.

Zebre: 15 Gullo Palazzani, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 Giambattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luciano Leibson, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Mike Van Vuren, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Tommaso Iannone, 23 Giiulio Toniolatti.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Kieran Barry (both Ireland)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ireland)

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