More humiliation for Saints as Saracens run riot yet again

Nafi Tuitavake was on the wing for Saints
Nafi Tuitavake was on the wing for Saints

Saints suffered yet another humiliation at the hands of Saracens as the Barnet-based side won 63-13 at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

It was a second-half horror show for Saints, who were only 15-13 down at the break thanks to Reece Marshall's try on his first Premiership start and eight points from Stephen Myler.

Reece Marshall scored a try on his first Premiership start (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Reece Marshall scored a try on his first Premiership start (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Saracens stepped things up significantly after the break, rubbing salt in the Saints wounds time and again as they scored nine times on the day.

It took their tally of tries to 33 in just four matches against the black, green and gold this season.

And it was also the largest amount of points they had scored in those meetings, surpassing the 62 they scored against Saints in a Champions Cup clash at Allianz Park in January.

Home fans flooded out of Franklin's Gardens during the second half and there was not even booing at the final whistle with a quiet and sombre acceptance among the supporters who had remained.

The game had started well for Saints, with Saracens getting a huge let-off as Teimana Harrison dropped the ball with a clear run to the line beckoning.

The away side quickly made the most of their reprieve, stringing together another relentless attack that ended with Alex Lozowski being released by Sean Maitland for the score.

Owen Farrell converted, but the fly-half then gave away a penalty for a high tackle on Cobus Reinach, with fly-half Myler slotting it to reduce the gap to four points.

Farrell landed a penalty to restore his team's seven-point advantage and Saints were then forced to make an early change, with Ben Nutley replacing the injured David Ribbans.

But it wasn't to disrupt the home side, who grabbed their first score of the game after putting numbers into a lineout drive.

Marshall picked the ball up from the back and scooted around the outside before stretching out an arm to score in the corner.

Myler landed the touchline conversion superbly and it was all square.

And Saints were to lead eight minutes before the break as Myler kicked a penalty after another period of pressure on the Saracens line.

But the lead didn't last long as Sarries produced a big shove of their own from a lineout to send hooker Schalk Brits over for the score.

Farrell fluffed the conversion, to the delight of the Gordon Terrace, and the away side's advantage remained two points at half-time.

But Saracens won the restart in the second period and refused to give Saints the ball back before scrum-half Ben Spencer scored in the corner.

Farrell again missed the conversion, firing it against the right post, but it didn't look likely to matter as Saracens scored their bonus-point try through the power of prop Mako Vunipola.

Farrell made no mistake with adding the extras on this occasion as his side moved past 200 points in their games against Saints this season.

Farrell continued to stick the boot in with another penalty and the second-half horror show continued as Liam Williams was afforded the freedom of Franklin's Gardens to gather a kick ahead and score.

Saracens were on course for another half-century against Saints - and they were to get it.

Chris Wyles produced a fine finish after it looked like Ahsee Tuala had got to him in time, and Maitland then finished a move out wide.

Farrell added both conversions to make it 51-13, leaving the Saints fans furious with referee Craig Maxwell-Keys, who they felt had missed an offside in the build-up to the Maitland score, and their own side.

Jackson Wray was next to score for Saracens, making it eight tries for the away team.

And there was still time for replacement Nathan Earle to finish things off, with his try ensuring that Saracens racked up their most points against Saints in a match this season.

Saints: Tuala (Foden 72); Tuitavake, Horne, Francis, North (Collins 60); Myler, Reinach (Mitchell 56); Ma'afu (van Wyk 67), Marshall (Clare 67), Brookes (Painter 60); Ratuniyarawa (Paterson 60), Day (c); Ribbans (Nutley 21), Gibson, Harrison.

Saracens: Williams; Maitland, Lozowski, Barritt, Wyles; Farrell, Spencer (Wigglesworth 53); M Vunipola, Brits (George 53), Figallo (Longbottom 63); Itoje, Kruis; Isiekwe, Cowan (Burger 63), Wray.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Attendance: 13,673