Oyonnax 10-45 Saracens: Ruthless Sarries run rampant in France to tigthen grip on Pool One
Saracens overcame struggling Oyonnax with a 45-10 bonus-point win in France on Sunday
A penalty try plus scores from Alex Goode and Chris Wyles give Sarries a 24-3 lead at half-time
Maro Itoje, Richard Wrigglesworth and Schalk Brits crossed for the visitors after the break to complete the comfortable win
Saracens kept up their remarkable 100 per cent start to the season with a comfortable 45-10 win over Oyonnax at Stade Charles-Mathon.
Owen Farrell kicked off the scoring with a penalty on seven minutes before a penalty try brought up the game’s first five pointer, Farrell with the goal.
Rory Clegg kicked a penalty for the hosts on the half hour mark, but two tries inside five minutes from Alex Goode and Charis Wyles, both converted by Farrell, made it 24-3 to the visitors at half time.
And Sarries’ dominance continued after the break, Maro Itoje and Richard Wigglesworth going over within a minute of each other. Farrell retained his unblemished record with the boot, but Arthur Aziza got a hard-earned consolation for the hosts late on, converted by Regis Lespinas.
However Sarries had the final say as Schalk Brits went in on the hooter, Charlie Hodgson with the two to wrap up a fine win on the road.
Coming into the game, Sarries, flying high in the Premiership, were expected to steamroll their hosts, who sit rock bottom of the Top 14.
And they did just that, setting the tone right from the off as they regathered their own kick off before Farrell registered the first points of the game with just seven minutes played, notching a penalty after a powerful scrummage play.
It wasn’t long before the visitors got their first try, a penalty try awarded after fierce pressure in the scrum saw the home pack collapse. Farrell added the extras for a 10-0 lead.
Germany-born Clegg then missed two penalties in quick succession for the hosts shortly after, before finally getting his side on the board after 30 minutes.
But that was as close as the hosts got to hauling in their rampant visitors as RUCK Man of the Match Goode raced in following a superb line break from Farrell, the number ten going on to convert brilliantly from the touchline for a 14-point lead.
The England man was again influential in Sarries’ next try, which came just four minutes later as he, Goode and Will Fraser combined in a stunning counter attack to cap off a devastating first half.
The Fez Boys were back on the attack within seconds of the restart and swiftly passed the 30-point mark.
Itoje was next on the scoresheet, completing another scintillating team move, Farrell adding the two.
Mike Rhodes was influential in that try and was involved again as Wrigglesworth strode in, benefiting from a stunning Rhodes offload to go in, Farrell adding his fifth and final conversion of the game.
Farrell was withdrawn on the hour as the game began to wind down towards the final whistle and Oyo got a late consolation through replacement scrum half Aziza, young Frenchman Lespinas with the extras.
But Sarries inevitably had the final act of the game, Brits rumbling over with seconds to play for the visitors’ sixth try of the afternoon, Hodgson adding the extras to complete his side’s ninth-successive win.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: Alex Goode
Oyonnax: 15 Quentin Etienne, 14 Silvere Tian, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alaska Taufa, 11 Dug Codjo, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Fabien Cibray, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Valentin Ursache, 5 Geoffrey Fabbri, 4 Leon Power, 3 Horace Pungea, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bordes, 17 Lukas Rapant, 18 Marc Clerc, 19 Antoine Guillamon, 20 Pierrick Gunther, 21 Florian Faure, 22 Arthur Aziza, 23 Regis Lespinas.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Kelly Brown, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Mike Ellery.
Date: Sunday, December 13
Venue: Stade Charles Mathon
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Stefano Pennè (Italy)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)