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Owen Farrell’s six missed kicks almost cost Sarries Premiership win

Admin By Admin Nov26,2023

“It was one of those days wasn’t it?” said Saracens boss Mark McCall. It was a pretty ordinary first half and a better second half. I thought we were flat in a number of things and I don’t know why right now.

“It didn’t feel like we were on top of things and as energetic as we were the week before. Sometimes that can happen. I just give the players a lot of credit for doing something about it in the second half.”

What Bristol would give to have such problems as the top four start to pull away from them. After Farrell and Lewington crossed for tries in the opening 11 minutes, Bristol hit back through Joe Batley’s well-worked score. Billy Vunipola broke down the blindside of a maul to score but twice Bristol threw to the tail of the lineout and twice they scored through front rowers Ellis Genge and Gabriel Oghre to give them a half-time lead.

Genge and fellow prop Kyle Sinckler have come under scrutiny at the scrum since England’s World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa. Yet after Bristol were pinged at the first two scrums, Genge then won two penalties, giving Sheedy the platform to kick to the corner for their tries.

“They have been really good,” Pat Lam, Bristol’s director of rugby, said. “You can see a real fire in their bellies and they have fitted in seamlessly. Both of them played lots of minutes last week and they did lots today.”

The game remained in the balance in the second half as Farrell set up Lewington and then George finished a maul but a Sheedy penalty kept Bristol in touch. Farrell’s inadvertent assist to Willis almost put Bristol away but Gabriel Ibitoye’s sensational run set up Kieran Marmion for a late score before George’s second secured the spoils.

Match details

Scores: 5-0, Farrell try; 10-0, Lewington try; 10-5, Batley try; 10-7, Sheedy con; 15-7, B Vunipola try; 15-12, Genge try; 15-14, Sheedy con; 15-19, Oghre try; 15-21, Sheedy con; 20-21, Lewington try; 22-21, Farrell con; 22-24, Sheedy pen; 27-24, George try; 29-24, Farrell con; 34-24, Willis try; 34-29, Marmion try; 34-31, Sheedy con; 39-31, George try

Saracens: A Goode; A Lewington, E Daly, N Tomkins (O Hartley, 77), T Parton (S Maitland, 65); O Farrell, A Davies (G Simpson, 63); M Vunipola (E Mawi, 59), J George (K Pifeleti,78 ), C Judge (A Clarey, 45), M Itoje, H Tizard (T McFarland, 57), T Willis (T Knight, 77), A Christe, B Vunipola

Bristol Bears: M Malins, G Ibitoye, V Vakatawa (J Williams, 78), B Janes van Rensburg, R Lane (K Ravouvou, 70); C Sheedy, H Randall (K Marmion, 58); E Genge (J Woolmore, 69), G Oghre (H Thacker, 57), K Sinckler (G Kloska, 69), J Dun, J Batley, J Heenan (J Caulfield, 68), D Thomas, F Harding

Referee: L Pearce

Attendance: 9,455

Saracens v Bristol Bears: as it happened 

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