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Saracens Too Strong For Resilient Scots

Saracens Too Strong For Resilient Scots

Classy Saracens proved too strong for London Scottish this evening at Allianz Park, easing to a 40-5 victory over the spirited visitors who were playing their opening friendly clash of pre-season.

Classy Saracens proved too strong for London Scottish this evening at Allianz Park, easing to a 40-5 victory over the spirited visitors who were playing their opening friendly clash of pre-season.

The hosts ran in six tries with last year's Greene King IPA Championship top scorer Miles Mantella replying for Scottish early in the second half.


Last year's Premiership and Heineken Cup runners-up dominated large swathes of the game and could have scored more tries were it not for a typically stubborn Scottish defensive effort.

But coaches James Buckland and Peter Richards and Director of Rugby Mike Friday will have been pleased with how their side played in the third quarter as Scottish dominated possession and territory which was rewarded by Mantella's fine try.

Saracens got off to the best possible start when winger Jack Wilson went in unopposed in the right hand corner following an attacking scrum under the posts.

Charlie Hodgson kicked the extras before Sarries again came close to scoring, this time from an attacking line-out. However the Scots did well turning over possession.

Mark McCall's side continued to press and midway through the half, a fine tackle by prop Stewart Maguire denied scrum-half Ben Spencer who spilled the ball over the line.

However the constant pressure by the hosts eventually saw them double their advantage.

A slip by inside centre PJ Gidlow allowed full-back Ben Random time and space to cruise in under the posts. Hodgson's simple conversion made it 14-0.

Scottish were giving everything in defence but failed to gain any meaningful possession in a somewhat frustrating opening 40.

The Allianz Park outfit scored a third try when number eight Jackson Wray, recently called into the senior England training squad, took advantage of a loose ball to cut inside the defence and touch down right on half-time.

Hodgson's trusty boot made it 21-0 at the interval.

The Scots came out for the second half an altogether different side and scored their first try of the season five minutes in.

A quick tap penalty by Jamie Stevenson saw him make some vital yards behind the Saracens defence.

He then fed skipper Mark Bright on the left wing who showed good vision and neat hands to play in Miles Mantella inside, the winger touching down and carrying on where he left off last season.

Lydon missed the extras but Scottish continued to show improved patterns of play on the ball, enjoying far more territory and possession than in the first half.

They couldn't converted their dominance into points in the ensuing 15 minutes and were made to pay when winger Jack Wilson showed fine pace to go round Lee Millar and score his second try in the right corner.

Nils Mordt missed the extras but he made amends soon after converting Henry Taylor's try after the scrum-half fended off Mike Doneghan to score Saracen's fifth try under the posts.

Forward Maro Itoje then rounded off the scoring, cutting through a tired Scottish defence right on full-time with Mordt adding the extras.

– Watch Peter Richard's post match interview here.

– Listen to James Phillips' post match interview here.

London Scottish host Esher on Saturday, August 23, 3pm kick-off and Glasgow Warriors on Saturday, August 30, 3pm kick-off before opening their Greene King IPA Championship campaign against Rotherham Titans at the Athletic Ground on Saturday, September 6, 3pm kick-off.

Tickets for all three matches and hospitality for the Glasgow Warriors and Rotherham Titans fixtures can be purchased online here or by calling the Commercial team on 020 3397 9551.

Home Team
Tries:  Wilson (5, 70 minutes) Ransom (24 minutes) Wray (40 minutes) Taylor (75 minutes) Itoje (80 minutes)
Away Team
Tries: Miles Mantella (44 minutes)
Home Team
15. Ben Ransom, 14. Jack Wilson, 13. Duncan Taylor (replaced by Nick Tompkins 40 minutes), 12. Chris Wyles (replaced by George Perkins 65 minutes), 11. David Strettle (replaced by Nathan Earle, 50 minutes); 10. Charlie Hodgson( replaced by Nils Mordt 40 minutes), 9. Ben Spencer (replaced by Henry Taylor, 60 minutes), 1. Rhys Gill (replaced by Richard Barrington 40 minutes), 2. Scott Spurling, (replaced by Saunders 60 minutes)  3. Petrus Du Plessis, 4. Jim Hamilton (replaced by Mouritz Botha 40 minutes), 5. George Kruis (replaced by Hayden Smith, 40 minutes, Kruis replaced Botha after an injury on 65 minutes), 6. Maro Itoje, 7. Will Fraser (replaced by Matt Hankin 60 minutes), 8. Jackson Wray.
Away Team
15. Errie Claassens (replaced by Dan Newton 40 minutes), 14. Matt Williams, 13. Oli Grove, 12. PJ Gidlow, (replaced by Lee Miller 51 minutes) 11. Miles Mantella (replaced by Alec Coombes, 70 minutes), 10. Peter Lydon (replaced by Mike Doneghan, 65 minutes), 9. Jamie Stevenson (replaced by Ben Calder, 66 minutes), 1. Mark Lilley, 2. Adam Kwasnicki, (replaced by Ross Doneghan 50 minutes) 3. Stewart Maguire (replaced by Ben Prescott 40 minutes) , 4.James Phillips, 5. Adam Preocanin, 6. Freddie Clarke 7. Neil Best, 8. Mark Bright. Other used replacements, Todd Gleave, Matt Heeks and James Hallam (50 minutes).
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