2015/16 Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup Winners Saracens proved their class with a 73-7 victory over London Scottish at the HAC in London.
The Scots were up against it for the majority of the evening but still had moments throughout the game where they more than held their own, and a memorable try from Jason Harries had the scores level at one point.
In the scenic surroundings of the Honourable Artillery Company which were matched by the weather, it was the hosts who were full of international regulars that went in front early on. Marcelo Bosch scored Saracens' first of 11 tries, but the Scots responded straight away.
After a huge tackle, the ball came free to Jason Harries who still had 70 metres of grass in front of him. He was hauled down but offloaded to Robbie Fergusson, who then managed to find Harries again after drawing in a number of defenders to run clear and dive under the posts. Lydon converted to make the score 7-7, with applause from all in attendance for the ambitious rugby on display.
Saracens scored three tries in quick succession to consolidate their lead before the half-hour mark. Duncan Taylor, Jamie George and Ben Spencer all crossed the line to put them 28-7 ahead.
Pete Lydon thought he had brought the Scots back in to the match with another interception but just as he raced away the referee blew his whistle for an infringement to the Irishman's frustration.
George Kruis and Alex Goode had time to score two more tries before the break, giving Saracens a 40-7 lead at half-time.
Scottish had plenty of possession at the start of the second-half, the highlight being an intriguing tussle between Jason Harries and Chris Ashton on the wing who were both charging full tilt at each other.
The Scots then started to empty their bench with the whole squad getting game-time, and whilst they got up to speed with the match Saracens were able to extend their lead further.
Chris Wyles and Maro Itoje scored from close range to make it 52-7, before Duncan Taylor got his second of the evening on the hour as the hosts approached the 60 point mark.
Scottish had a number of chances in the 22 after winning a penalty at scrum-time with the front-row holding up superbly, but Saracens were able to absorb the pressure and clear.
Schalk Brits and Sean Maitland rounded off the scoring the final minutes as the match finished 73-7, but the Scots gave a good account of themselves and will head in to their Greene King IPA Championship opener against Nottingham next Sunday with renewed confidence.
15 Alex Goode 14 Chris Ashton 13 Marcelo Bosch 12 Duncan Taylor 11 Sean Maitland 10 Alex Lozowski 9 Ben Spencer 1 Mako Vunipola 2 Jamie George (c) 3 Petrus Du Plessis 4 Maro Itoje 5 George Kruis 6 Jackson Wray 7 Schalk Burger 8 Billy Vunipola
16 Schalk Brits 17 Richard Barrington 18 Juan Figallo 19 Alistair Hargreaves 20 Kelly Brown 21 Neil De Kock 22 Nick Tompkins 23 Chris Wyles 24 Samu Vunisa 25 Joel Conlon 26 Mike Ellery 27 Tim Streather 28 Matt Gallagher
Scorers: Tries: Marcelo Bosch (4 minutes) Duncan Taylor (15, 60 minutes) Jamie George (20 minutes) Ben Spencer (27 minutes) George Kruis (32 minutes) Alex Goode (38 minutes) Chris Wyles (47 minutes) Maro Itoje (57 minutes) Schalk Brits (70 minutes) Sean Maitland (74 minutes) Conversions: Alex Lozowski (4, 15, 20, 27, 32, 57, 60, 70, 74 minutes)
15 Tom Galbraith 14 Ben Rath 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Harry Sheppard 11 Jason Harries 10 Pete Lydon 9 Hugh Fraser 1 Grant Shiells 2 David Cherry 3 Phil Cringle 4 Dom McGeekie 5 Rory Bartle 6 Ally Miller 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Danny Kenny
16 Ralph Adams Hale 17 Cameron Fenton 18 Devlin Hope 19 Ewan McQuillin 20 Seb Nagle-Taylor 21 Matthew Marley 22 Charlie Hewitt 23 Sam Ripper Smith 24 Ed Hoadley 25 Connor Murphy 26 George Cullen 27 Connor Hayhow 28 Ben Robbins
Scorers: Tries: Jason Harries (7 minutes) Conversion: Peter Lydon (7 minutes)
Half-Time: Saracens 40 - 7 London Scottish
Full-Time: Saracens 73 - 7 London Scottish
The best action pictures from the match can be found by clicking here.
Watch an honest assessment from Head Coach Peter Richards here: