SAINTS 41 SARACENS 20 As It Happened

Ben Foden beats Alex Goode to the line for his second try of the afternoon © Getty Images

Match Report SAINTS 41 SARACENS 20 As It Happened

Six tries saw the Saints close the gap on Saracens to just a single point at the top of the Aviva Premiership, the 41-20 win also providing a 15th point from 15 for home league games this season. Re-live the afternoon as it happened.

KO
Some welcome for the Saints from the biggest Gardens crowd of the season so far. Goode to get us underway…
SAINTS 0 SAR 0

2mins
Sarries get the first chance to attack and Tagicakibau goes after Goode’s well measured kick. Foden judges it just about right though and dots the ball down for a 22 dropout. Myler goes long with it and when Mordt flings a forward pass, Saints are awarded the game’s first scrum.
SAINTS 0 SAR 0

4mins
Penalty Saints and it’s on Alex Waller’s side of the scrum, the prop up against another of the Lions’ summer tourists, Stevens. There’s a penalty from the lineout, too, one Myler thumps over to give Saints the lead.
SAINTS 3 SAR 0

8mins
Good box kick from Wigglesworth is taken in by Fotuali’i, but the scrum-half is bundled into touch. Sarries carry from the lineout and with a Saints tackler failing to roll, Goode levels it up.
SAINTS 3 SAR 3

10mins
Majestic restart work from Manoa and after a couple of phases Myler slides a beauty into touch, Sarries to throw in 5m from their own line. Clearing kick comes and while Elliott attacks, followed by another chip behind from Myler, Goode cleans up well and boots clear.
SAINTS 3 SAR 3

12mins
TRY! and an absolute corker from the Saints. A flowing move starts with Manoa weaving beside the lineout and after smart offloads from the American, Fotuali’i, Dowson and Dickinson, Elliott slides beside the posts. Myler converts.
SAINTS 10 SAR 3

14mins
Another brisk counter from the Saints is led by the Pisi brothers but it’s Ken who’s dragged down 8m out and Saracens are then awarded the penalty. The hosts are bouncing at the minute though.
SAINTS 10 SAR 3

17mins
A first chance to attack and a slick one from Saracens, too, Mordt releasing Strettle and the wing galloping towards the line. Elliott gets across brilliantly though with a tackle worth as many points as the try he scored. Fotuali’i completes the clearance from the lineout.
SAINTS 10 SAR 3

19mins
Saracens roll a good maul from the resulting lineout and there’s plenty of men out wide as Taylor flings a long pass. Goode looks to go straight through Foden and over the line but after a check with the TMO, the call is a fine piece of holding up work by the Saints man on his opposite number. Sarries knock on too so it's a Saints scrum.
SAINTS 10 SAR 3

23mins
Brits’ lineout wasn’t straight and at the second time of asking, Saints are awarded the free kick. After a big carry from Dickinson, penalty comes and Fotuali’i puts Saints right into the danger zone with a snaking break. Move stays alive but after plenty of effort and patience, Saracens get hands on the ball and win the penalty. Promising signs from Fotuali’i there though.
SAINTS 10 SAR 3

26mins
Saints are in again and it’s another beaut! Brilliant carving foray from Burrell and when Manoa busts a couple of tackles, the big second row throws in a blinder of a sidestep to leave Goode on his backside and Myler with the simplest of conversions.
SAINTS 17 SAR 3

29mins
Tagicakibau breaks the line looking to get Saracens straight back into it and while Clark looks to have been harshly done conceding a penalty, Goode pushes it wide from 45m.
SAINTS 17 SAR 3

33mins
Saints scrum on halfway takes a few goes and several minutes to get finished but when it does get donee it’s the Saints who come up all smiles, Waller again getting a huge nudge on Stevens. Myler clips the penalty into the Saracens 22 and it’s another great attacking platform for the home side.
SAINTS 17 SAR 3

37mins
Another important tackle from Elliott on Strettle as Saracens attack with intent. The wing tries to flick the ball inside as he is brought down and when Joubert knocks on, Saints have another chance to put the squeeze onto Sarries’ front three.
SAINTS 17 SAR 3

38mins
No hesitation from referee Wigglesworth as the front rows fall, another Saints penalty and not only will Myler lump them clear, they’ll have the throw in at the lineout too. Not the best box kick from Fotuali’i, however, and when Saracens win clean lineout ball, phase after phase of play eventually earns a penalty that Goode kicks from straight in front to end the half.
SAINTS 17 SAR 6

HT
It’s often said that in games like these, a moment of magic is needed to separate the sides and if the Saints’ first try wasn’t good enough, Manoa’s outrageous finish has provided exactly that to give the Saints the advantage at the break. Saracens seeing plenty of time on the ball, however, and far from out of this game.
SAINTS 17 SAR 6

40mins
Dickinson has made way for van Velze at the break. No further changes and Myler restarts.
SAINTS 17 SAR 6

41mins
Great awareness of his surroundings from Elliott to makes sure a Sarries kick goes out on the full and earn his side some 40m of territory. A brutal maul puts Saints within touching distance and while Goode slaps down Foden’s attempted pass, the move stays alive and it’s the Saints full back who touches down for his second try in two games!
SAINTS 22 SAR 6

44mins
Myler’s conversion swerves narrowly wide but that does little to dampen what has been the perfect start to this second half for the Saints.
SAINTS 22 SAR 6

47mins
ANOTHER Saints penalty from the scrum, referee Wigglesworth this time pointing to Ma’afu’s side for the offence. Either way, the Saints have been right on top at the set-piece. Haywood’s lineout work has been solid too and another arrow is taken in by Dowson and mauled…heavily mauled for a penalty.
SAINTS 22 SAR 6

48mins
Myler, as predicted, goes to the corner and the Gardens rises with expectation. Manoa takes the lineout and Sarries can only bring it down illegally. Back into the corner it goes and the Saints faithful respond once more. Oh when the Saints…
SAINTS 22 SAR 6

51mins
Sarries defend the next maul well though and also get a penalty from the scrum. Cardinal sin from Goode though who misses his touch and Ken puts the Saints on the front foot. Myler bobbles a kick through and it’s Foden again who benefits, the full back latching onto the ball for his second and the Saints’ third bonus point from three home Premiership outings. Myler back on song with the extras.
SAINTS 29 SAR 6

55mins
If you were expecting Burrell and Foden to be fired up after their England release, you’d have been right. The two backs have played big roles in what has been a superb team effort so far from the Saints. Saracens make wholesale changes as they look to salvage something from this game.
SAINTS 29 SAR 6

58mins
Superb shift from Ma’afu and the big Aussie is replaced by Denman as the hour approaches. Saracens looking to apply some pressure from a lineout maul and after it edges dangerously close to the line, Taylor is sent through a gap to cut the deficit for the visitors.
SAINTS 29 SAR 13

64mins
Play gets a little scrappy as both sides kick the ball away but when Burrell’s lump forward bounces kindly for George, his offload to Ken send the winger racing forward. Burrell is back involved and sent coasting under the posts and after the TMO has a look at the scoring pass, Saints’ fifth is confirmed. Easy two for Myler.
SAINTS 36 SAR 13

66mins
A dancing break from Goode needs Fotuali’i’s attention. Play is eventually bundled into touch on the right and Saints replace Burrell, Foden and Manoa with Waldouck, Wilson and Nutley. Three BIG shifts from the men coming off and great to see Waldouck back after a long injury layoff.
SAINTS 36 SAR 13

68mins
Saracens aren’t giving up on getting something out of this clash and a maul is shoved over the Saints line. The hosts look to have held it up but referee Wigglesworth is asking the TMO to have a look, just to make sure. Try awarded to Brown and Goode converts.
SAINTS 36 SAR 20

73mins
The last few minutes of this game have broken up a bit and that will only suit Saracens. Time for breath though as Saints get a penalty in their own 22 and they’d be wise to slow the game down a little to try and kill it off completely. Or maybe just score another try, Wilson sending Ken flying over after an excellent raking pass from Myler.
SAINTS 41 SAR 20

77mins
Saints bring on McMillan and Glynn for Haywood and Elliott. Just three minutes left and while Saracens keep plugging away for a second try and consolation, a knock on ends the move.
SAINTS 41 SAR 20

78mins
Plenty of big names missing from the Saints lineup, but one that remained was Manoa and he picks up the man of the match plaudits after a fine team showing. Sarries have a 5m lineout and one last chance to make reduce the damage. Some great scavenging work from Clark puts paid to that though.
SAINTS 41 SAR 20

FT
One last rousing rendition of ‘Oh when the Saints’ and the game is over, Fotuali’i punting into touch.
SAINTS 41 SAR 20

FT
The first big test with men missing and what more could you have asked for from the Saints?! Six tries, including a few absolute pearlers and the gap to top placed Sarries is closed to a single point. That’s 15 points from 15 in front of a vociferous Gardens crowd in the Aviva Premiership, too.
SAINTS 41 SAR 20

TIMELINE
5mins SAINTS Pen Myler 3-0
8mins SAR Pen Goode 3-3
12mins SAINTS Try Elliott Con Myler 10-3
26mins SAINTS Try Manoa Con Myler 17-3
30mins SAR Miss pen Goode
40mins SAR Pen Goode 17-6
HALF-TIME SAINTS 17 SAR 6
43mins SAINTS Try Foden 22-6
54mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Myler 29-6
62mins SAR Try Taylor Con Goode 29-13
64mins SAINTS Try Burrell Con Myler 36-13
FULL-TIME SAINTS 41 SAR 20

SAINTS - Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali’i; A Waller, Haywood, Maafu, Manoa, Day, Clark, Dowson (capt), Dickinson

Reps - McMillan, E Waller, Denman, van Velze, Nutley, Glynn, Waldouck, Wilson

SARACENS - Goode; Tagicakibau, Wyles, Taylor, Strettle; Mordt, Wigglesworth; Barrington, Brits, Stevens, Borthwick (capt), Hargreaves, Brown, Burger, Joubert

Reps - George, Auterac, Johnston, Botha, Wray, De Kock, Bosch, Ransom

Aviva Man of the Match: Samu Manoa

Att: 13,474

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

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