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Saints wing their way to a bonus in Gardens romp

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The winger - back from World Cup duty with Russia - crossed twice in the first half, before his treble was complete on the hour - Jamie Elliott also following him over with a second half double on the other wing as he made his own return from injury.


Like last weekend, Saints scored early and also similarly it was James Craig who made a telling break inside the Saracens 22 to set up the score. The ball quickly came out and found its way to Artemyev, who marked his Saints debut with the simplest tries, gliding over in the right corner before Lamb added the extras.


Saracens got on the board with a penalty from Ben Spencer, but after the scrum-half missed a second the visitors were then reduced to 14 men. Kameli Ratuvou was the Saracens player taking a bench - not once, but twice deliberately knocking on a Saints pass.


First time round Ryan Lamb couldn't punish the error with the penalty, but when the fly half missed touch with another, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Saints countered through Tom May and Elliott and after a further break from Scott Armstrong, Artemyev was released down the right again to burn past Saracens full back Ben Ransom and double his and the Saints' tally.


Six minutes later Spencer did the same for his side with a second penalty of the afternoon and his effort meant that the score was 14-6 at the break.


It was all Saints and a double turnover took them from inside their own 22 into Saracens' and when Armstrong cut through a certain score was only prevented by Mike Haywood's spill. It wasn't long before the Saints points were ticking again though, Lamb nailing a drop goal and as the hour approached the Saints struck.


Ben Nutley tore Saracens open with his break from halfway and when the ball was kept alive, Ransom failed to pick up Lamb's bobbling kick and Artemyev was on hand to scoop up and complete a typical winger's hat trick.


The Saints were really rolling by now and as Soane Tonga'uiha and Dylan Hartley were welcomed to the field with rapturous applause, Nutley latched onto a delightful Lamb chip to carry clear again and though Lee Dickson spilled his offload, the Saints power came on at the scrum. It was the third such time a Sarries put in had gone against the head and backs and forwards combined with some brilliant offloading before Armstrong put Elliott away for the bonus point score.


It didn't seem to matter who was on the field for the Saints as they continued to produce some fine rugby that allowed Elliott to double up. Stephen Myler had an overlap to his left but instead punted a beautifully weighted cross kick into the young winger's arms and the Saracens defence were nowhere to be seen as Elliott cruised over.


Looking for a little consolation, Sarries put the squeeze on in the final five minutes but a Saitns defence that had looked asurred all afternoon maintained its composure and closed out a fantastic five-try win.


TRAVIS PERKINS MAN OF THE MATCH Vasily Artemyev


TIMELINE

4mins SAINTS Try Artemyev Con Lamb 7-0

9mins SAR Pen Spencer 7-3

14mins SAR Miss pen Spencer

22mins SAINTS Miss pen Lamb

26mins SAR Yellow Ratuvou

30mins SAINTS Try Artemyev Con Lamb 14-3

36mins SAR Pen Spencer 14-6

HALF-TIME SAINTS 14 SARACENS 6

49mins SAINTS DG Lamb 17-6

59mins SAINTS Try Artemyev 22-6

62mins SAINTS Try Elliott Con Lamb 29-6

75mins SAINTS Try Elliott Con Myler 36-6

FULL-TIME SAINTS 36 SARACENS 6