Saracens 29 Worcester 15: Jones works wonders for Saracens

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It has taken Eddie Jones 20 days to transform Saracens. Before the former Australia coach arrived, they had lost eight Premiership matches in a row. This effort, a second win in a row, and with a bonus point, lifted them from 11th to eighth.

"I take no credit at all," said Jones. "This is a talented team with a real desire to follow a specific style of play." The squad spent last week in Portugal, where there was some serious team-building going on.

"It was great having the players for 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Mike Ford, the head coach. "We prepared really well for this match, probably the best we have prepared all year."

In a dull but hard match, Saracens withstood a fair amount of pressure and looked more enterprising when they went forward. The centre Ben Johnston looked particularly sharp, and it was only right that he should have a hand in the try of the match. Snapping up a loose ball inside his 22, he sprinted 50 metres before passing to Mark Bartholomeusz, who sent Dan Scarbrough in for the fourth try.

"I'm surprised sides don't play with more ambition in attack," said Jones, Saracens' consultant coach.

Saracens' opening score two minutes into the match - a try for the right wing Tevita Vaikona - promised much, but not until the home side threw long at a line-out for Johnston to swoop, break and send in Bartholomeusz was there much for their supporters to shout about.

Worcester were drab and unimaginative, perhaps affected by the conditions. It rained for most of the game and that appeared to mist up their vision. Not until Scarbrough was sent to the sin bin at the end of normal time did they manage to create anything. By then it was far too late, but at least their two tries by Siaosi Vaili and Aisea Havili reduced the embarrassment.

Worcester arrived at Vicarage Road as the sixth best side in the country, but headed back to the Midlands in seventh.

Saracens: Tries Vaikona, Bartholomeusz, Rauluni, Scarbrough; Conversions Jackson 3; Penalty Jackson. Worcester: Tries Vaili, Havili; Conversion Drahm; Penalty Drahm.

Saracens: M Bartholomeusz; T Vaikona, B Johnston (D Harris, 75), K Sorrell, D Scarbrough; G Jackson (P Bailey, 80), K Bracken (M Rauluni, 40); K Yates (N Lloyd, 65), S Byrne (M Cairns, 63), C Visagie (B Broster, 75), S Raiwalui (D Barrell, 64), T Ryder (Raiwalui 64-69), K Chesney, T Randell, H Vyvyan (capt).

Worcester: N le Roux (G Trueman, 55); A Havili, D Rasmussen, S Whatling, T Delport; S Drahm, A Gomarsall (M Powell, 72); T Windo, C Fortey (G Hickie, 57), T Taumoepeau (L Fortey, 72), P Murphy (E O'Donoghue, 79), C Gillies, K Horstmann, P Sanderson (capt), D Hickey (S Vaili, 66).

Referee: D Pearson (Northumberland).

Comments