MATCH REPORT | Bordeaux Begles 55-15 Saracens Men
Saracens Men were well beaten by a clinical Bordeaux Begles outfit as they left a raucous Stade Chaban-Delmas with a 55-15 defeat.
The high-flying French side were dominant from start to finish, however Sarries did show some real character in the second half and gave themselves some positives ahead of a crucial game against Lyon next Saturday at StoneX Stadium.
The hosts came close to opening the scoring with just two minutes on the clock as a loose ball found Luis Bielle-Biarrey on the wing, but as he hacked the ball ahead Ivan van Zyl stayed calm and managed to win the race.
It was Sarries that landed the first blow though, a brilliant kick chase brought a penalty 25 metres out, and Owen Farrell made no mistake from 25 metres out to make it 3-0 after four minutes.
Bordeaux hit back soon after though with the first try of the evening. A scrum deep in the 22 gave them the platform, and then the ball was shifted to Bielle-Biarrey out on the left, and he stepped the final defender to go over in the corner. Matthieu Jalibert’s conversion gave them a 7-3 advantage.
The raucous home crowd smelt blood and another try followed straight away as the hosts stamped their authority on proceedings. A disguised inside ball from Jalibert fooled the defence, and Romain Buros was straight through the gap to race under the posts. The extras were successful as the lead grew to 14-3.
It got even better for the hosts on the 20 minute mark, as try number three arrived to put them further in the ascendancy. A penalty was kicked to the corner, and then their maul powered over with Maxime Lamothe dotting down at the base. The conversion went wide, but the challenge was getting bigger for the Londoners.
Sarries then started to grow in to the game, a Maro Itoje chargedown almost created a try but unfortunately the ball carried on bouncing and went dead.
However, it was Bordeaux who struck again before the break to secure themselves the try bonus point. A jinking break from Maxime Lucu saw him race in to the 22, and then the prolific Damian Penaud was on his shoulder to emphatically score in the corner.
Sarries did have a great chance to get back in the game just before the break, but Theo Dan was held up over the line and Bordeaux headed down the tunnel with a 24-3 lead.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first, as Sarries were punished emphatically as Bordeaux crossed for try number five. An overthrown lineout gave them a counter attack, and then the ball eventually ended up in the hands of Nicolas Deportere who couldn’t be stopped from just one metre out.
The visitors desperately needed a response and Andy Christie almost provided it as he made a half break, but the door was quickly shut and the Bordeaux defence held firm.
Alex Goode then went inches from scoring as a ball spat out of a ruck, but just as he looked to dot the ball down he was penalised for holding on against an aggressive defence.
Bordeaux then struck again to put the game beyond doubt on a tough evening for the visitors. Turnover ball found Penaud on the wing, and he stepped past two defenders before passing back inside to Jalibert who had a simple run to the line. Lucu added the extras, and now Sarries trailed 36-3.
Penaud, who was in frightening form then intercepted just before the hour mark and raced clear from 70 metres, taking the hosts past the 40 point mark.
Sarries refused to lie down though, and two tries in as many minutes showed the immense spirit amongst the group.
Nick Tompkins went over from a nice lineout move to give the travelling fans something to shout about, and then Theo Dan intercepted and used his searing pace to run away from 50 metres, and now all of a sudden the deficit was down to 43-15.
Alex Lewington then had a chance as a sliced clearance headed straight to him, but the defence managed to scramble back just in time.
Despite rising hopes of a comeback, Bordeaux had the final say as the ball bounced kindly for Pablo Uberti who had a clear run to the line, and Jalibert’s conversion brought up the 50 point mark.
There was still time for one more score as Deportere went over in the final play from long range. That proved to the be the last act of a tough day at the office for Sarries who will dust themselves down for the visit of Lyon next weekend.
In what is a must-win game, book your tickets HERE!