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SINGHA SEVENS Saints beat Saracens but eventually come up short

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

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GAME 1 Saracens 12 Saints 31

Despite Alex Mitchell's best efforts to get Saints onto the front foot in the opening exchanges it was Saracens who got the first two tries on the board, Tom Whitely and Dom Morris crossing.

But Mitchell was Saints' go-to man in attack, his dancing feet causing Saracens problems whenever he got the ball. And while he was eventually brought down from behind after showing great stepping and acceleration there was enough support there and Tom Emery cut a good line to take him over the whitewash.

Mitchell was at it again in the last play of the half, sending Sam Olver on his way to the line, with the skipper showing good awareness to dive before the line to evade the desparate Nathan Earle's tackle.

Having taken the lead on the stroke of the break Saints extended it within a minute of the restart, Rory Hutchinson being put over by a neat Tim Cardall pass. Hutchinson doubled his tally in Saints' next attack, but this time it was Olver who caught the eye with a between-the-legs pass that took out a couple of Saracens defenders in the build-up.

That put Saints comfortably clear, and after holding out one last Saracens attack it was the lads from the Gardens who had the last say, Alex Rayment going over in the final play of the game.

SCORERS

SARACENS Tries – Whitely, Morris; Cons - Whitely

SAINTS Tries – Emery, Olver, Hutchinson (2), Rayment; Cons – Olver (3)

 


GAME 2 Wasps 49 Saints 5

 

Saints came up against a strong Wasps outfit that had been red hot in their opening clash with Harlequins. Christian Wade's pace had torn apart Quins, and he was at it again in the first attack of the game, setting up and then finishing off a move that began well in his own half.

Wade has done the same to many an Aviva Premiership defence, and his two tries sandwiched a score for Brendan Macken, with Alex Lozowski adding all three conversions.

Alex Mitchell did try his best to get Saints going with a break that had been his trademark in the win over Saracens, but it was rare respite for his team in a one-way first half that saw Macken add a second score and Lozowski a fourth conversion.

Saints did try their hardest to get onto the front foot in the second half's opening salvo, but as with the first seven minutes this brought a try for Wasps, Josh Bassett the scorer. Next over the line was points machine Lozowski, who maintained his 100 percent record at the uprights after dotting down between the sticks.

Alex Moon did get Saints onto the scoreboard, but it was just consolation in what was an overwhelming win for Wasps, rounded off by Thomas Young in the final play.

SCORERS

WASPS Tries – Wade (2), Macken (2), Bassett, Lozowski, Young; Cons – Lozowski (6), Stevenson

SAINTS Try – Moon

 


GAME 3 Saints 12 Harlequins 26

 

Quins had had a 20-minute rest while Saints had been coming up against Wasps, and that break showed in the opening exchanges. Joe Marchant and Robbie Nairn both crossed, with Marchant adding one conversion, but Saints had been 12 points down in their first game, too, and refused to panic.

Patient approach play took them up the field, with Tom Emery showing great hands to collect the final pass and pace to match to take him away from the defence to score. There was more of the same the next time the Saints got possession, too, with Rory Hutchinson denied only by the ball skipping away from him while chasing a kick over the line.

Saints showed similar patience at the start of the second half, Emery being worked into space only to be pulled down within sight of the whitewash, a tackle that would also prematurely end his evening.

It would sum up Saints' half. Twice more they came close to scoring, but twice they conceded penalties for holding onto the ball, with Alex Mitchell also seeing yellow. And while they did have the final say of the game with Hutchinson going over in the corner by then Quins had notched a bonus point with tries from Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters.

SCORERS

SAINTS Tries – Emery, Hutchinson; Cons – Olver

HARLEQUINS Tries – Marchant, Nairn, Aspland-Robinson, Waters; Cons – Marchant (2), White

 


SQUAD – Alex MOON, Matthew WATSON, Jake CARTER, Tim CARDALL, Alex RAYMENT, Tom EMERY, Will ALLMAN, Oliver BURGESS, Alex MITCHELL, Sam OLVER, Rory HUTCHINSON, James GRAYSON