Vyvyan in charge as Saracens broaden horizons

Treviso 17 Saracens 30
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The Independent Online

Although they could not quite get a bonus point for a fourth try, this was a gritty performance and a great result for the English club.

They were made to work for it. Treviso might not have made it into the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup, but they have managed to record at least one victory in the tournament every time they have appeared in it. There were times when Saracens wobbled, but they always managed to keep their heads.

Steve Diamond, their director of rugby, admitted afterwards: "The bonus point would have been nice, but really bonus points are for the home games. If we keep winning we will go through anyway." He also paid tribute to Treviso. "They are a good side here. They are proud and they make you work hard."

They rattled Saracens early, first when Brendan Williams burst clear in the fifth minute, thrusting through a gaping hole between gawping Saracens defenders, and again when MJ Smith, who converted that try, thumped over a penalty to regain the lead after the home side had conceded a ninth-minute penalty try for collapsing a scrum once too often.

Treviso suffered most shortly after losing Dion Kingi to the sin-bin. During the No 8's 10-minute spell in the cooler Saracens hit back, scoring 10 points without reply.

They opened with the first of Hugh Vyvyan's two tries, when the Saracens captain followed up a delicate chip by Glen Jackson. The fly-half converted, then knocked over a penalty six minutes later.

Then Kingi decided to make up for his earlier transgression. The second half was five minutes old when a wonderful passage of play, containing some 20 phases, saw Treviso work their way towards the line before Kingi was put over from close range with the defence in tatters. Smith's conversion levelled the scores.

Saracens counterattacked, and although Simon Raiwalui's pass to Vyvyan looked very forward, the try was not disallowed. Jackson converted and kicked two more penalties.

The New Zealander got over the line in the dying seconds for what would have been the fourth try but knocked on, which was a pity since at that moment he was being announced as the man of the match.

Treviso: B Williams; M Perziano (D Dallan, 78), S Legg, M Barbini (S Picone, 78), P Calanchini; M J Smith, A Troncon (capt; S Picone, 66-78); G Faliva (H Mazino, 57), F Ongaro (A Tejeda, 71), S Costanzo, E Pavanello (A Pavanello, 71), M Wentzel, S Garozzo, D Kingi, S Orlando (D Dal Maso, 57).

Saracens: T Castaignède; D Scarbrough, K Sorrell, B Johnston (B J Russell, 19), P Bailey; G Jackson, A Dickens (M Rauluni, 78); K Yates (B Broster, 57-69), S Byrne (M Cairns, 62), C Visagie (Broster, 69), S Raiwalui, I Fullarton (K Chesney, 51), H Vyvyan (capt), B Skirving (B T Russell, 73), T Randell (D Seymour, 52).

Referee: D Changleng (Scotland).