LV Cup: Tomkins quick to impress as Saracens outclass Worcester

Saracens 41 Worcester 14

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The Independent Online

Whatever Saracens win this season, it won't be the LV Cup, despite two cracking tries here by debutant Joel Tomkins. Maths suggest they remain clinging in there by a spider's thread; reality insists Bath will walk it into the semi-finals. Saracens don't care. They have a title to defend as well as the Premiership's honour as its sole remaining representatives in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

This was a belting day for the former Wigan back Tomkins, 24, who attended the same school as Northampton and England's Chris Ashton, his team-mate at Saracens next season. Starved of decent ball for most of the game, he struck twice in five second-half minutes, starting with an intercept in the 61st, snaffling Danny Gray's pass meant for Chris Pennell. The second was scored on the left after Jackson Wray provided the pass to round off a sweeping move.

Saracens coach Alex Sanderson believes Tomkins is a future jewel being polished carefully. "He is an intelligent rugby player and his core skills are second to none, as you'd expect from a lad with a rugby league background." he said. "We are impressed the way he took his chances late in the game when a lad from league, on his debut, would have been forgiven had he drifted out of the game in the final quarter."

Nils Mordt did his bit with the boot, converting all five tries and adding two penalties while the Heineken Cup winner Peter Stringer, the scrum-half on a three-month loan from Munster, wrapped up a classic training-ground try in the 25th minute, his first for his temporary employers.

Worcester came to win, attacked boldly and scored tries by Sam Betty and Tom Arscott, both converted by Joe Carlisle.

Scorers: Saracens: Tries Stringer, Melck, Tomkins 2, George; Conversions Mordt 5 Penalties Mordt 2. Worcester: Try Betty, Arscott; Conversions Carlisle 2.

Saracens D Taylor; K Ratuvou (B Ransom, 58), J Tomkins, A Powell (T Jubb, 75), M Tagicakibau (N Earle, 71); N Mordt, P Stringer (L Baldwin, 58); J Smit (N Auterac, 53), J George (capt), P du Plessis (J Cleverly, 78), G Kruis, E Sherriff (H Vyvyan, 53), J Melck, J Wray, W Fraser (S Spurling, 58).

Worcester C Pennell (capt); T Arscott, R Fatiaki (E Classens, 67), J Carlisle, J Drauniniu (M Benjamin, 67); D Gray, J Arr (O Frost, 67); B Douglas (J Currie, 68), C Fortey (A Lutui, 50), O Tomaszczyk (G Porter, 51), B Gulliver, C Gillies, S Betty, B Cowan (N Dacres, 75), R Muagututia (M Kvesic, 51).

Referee I Tempest (England).