Saracens make it six from six in Europe

Owen Farrell clears the ball for Saracen

Saracens made their European record six wins from six matches by beating Toulouse 17-29 in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Stade Ernest Wallon.

The English Premiership champions had already secured a home quarter final while Toulouse had already been eliminated from the play offs.

Toulouse outscored Saracens by three tries to one in the match but the English side kicked six penalties and a drop goal to keep them in front.

Saracens made nine changes for the trip to France and it was one of those changes, Charlie Hodgson, who was controlling things for them in the opening 40 minutes.

Hodgson kicked two penalties and a drop goal in the opening half-hour to give them an early lead but with three minutes left of the opening half Toulouse stung the visitors with a try.

Saracens wing Duncan Taylor failed to deal with Luke McAlister’s kick over the top and the former New Zealand international was able to collect and crash over from close range. Toby Flood added the conversion to put them just two points behind at the interval.

Owen Farrell replaced Hodgson at half-time and was immediately on the score sheet with a penalty. Saracens then scored a superb try when Alex Goode launched a counter-attack from his own half and found Ben Spence, he chipped over the top with the outside of this boot before collecting his own kick to score.

The visitors should have got a second try when Jamie George’s burst downfield took them into the Toulouse 22 and after several phases Farrell went through a gap only to spill the ball forward before he could touch down.

Farrell made up for it minutes later when he produced a try-saving tackle to stop Yacouba Camara but shortly afterwards McAlister got his second score to bring Toulouse back into the contest.

Spencer then spilled another good chance for Saracens close to the Toulouse line and with 10 minutes to go Toulouse got their third try of the afternoon when Maxime Medard did well out wide to find Paul Perez on his inside and the wing did a superb job to control the ball with his feet and go over.

But two Farrell penalties in the final seven minutes secured the win for Saracens.

Final Score Toulouse 17 (7) Saracens 28 (9)

Scorers

Toulouse
Tries – McAlister 2, Medard
Pen –
Con – Flood
Drop –

Saracens
Tries – Spencer
Pen – Hodgson 2, Farrell 4
Con – Farrell
Drop – Hodgson

Match Officials
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales),
Assistant ref: Rhys Thomas (Wales),
Assistant ref: Gwyn Morris (Wales),
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: Richard McGhee (Scotland)

Teams

Toulouse: Clément Poitrenaud; Vincent Clerc, Toby Flood, Florian Fritz, Paul Perez; Luke McAlister, Jean-Marc Doussain; Gurthro Steenkamp, Corey Flynn, Nemiah Tialata, Romain Millo-Chluski, Patricio Albacete (c), Yacouba Camara, Imanol Harinordoquy, Gillian Galan

Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Cyril Baille, Gert Muller, Joe Tekori, Gregory Lamboley, David Mele, Gael Fickou, Maxime Médard

Saracens: Alex Goode; Duncan Taylor, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt (c), Chris Wyles; Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock; Richard Barrington, Schalk Brits, Juan Figallo, Jim Hamilton, George Kruis, Michael Rhodes, Jacques Burger, Jackson Wray

Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Petrus du Plessis, Hayden Smith, Billy Vunipola, Ben Spencer, Owen Farrell, Ben Ransom

With thanks to ERCRugby

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