MATCH REPORT | Saracens U18's 26-34 Bath Rugby U18's
Saracens Under 18’s were beaten 34-26 in a highly entertaining encounter in front of a huge crowd at StoneX Stadium.
As part of the Summer Gathering, a whole host of Seasonal Members joined us for plenty off-field activities and then stayed to watch a promising display from some Saracens stars of the future.
The young Sarries were up against it in the early stages but their admirable maul defence ensured that their try-line remained intact.
The pressure told however with nine minutes on the clock as Toby Lock got the ball in the wide channels and used his power to open the scoring with the first try of the afternoon. The conversion went wide, and then Sarries struck in to gear.
A great outside break from Jack Bracken created an overlap, and he offloaded to Finn Newton who dived over in the corner to the delight of the sizeable home crowd.
Bath then responded with another try as fly-half James Linegar stepped through from outside the 22, and he converted his own score to give the visitors a 12-5 lead as we approached the end of the first quarter.
Josh Twigg then almost levelled when he gathered an offload but it went forward, however the fans didn’t have to wait long as a lovely set move from a timeout sent Angus Hall through a gap and he passed inside to Eddie Alliott who had a clear run to the line. Hall then converted to make it 12-12 with 30 minutes on the clock.
The West Country outfit retook the lead straight after though, as Lock scored his second of the day with a long-range run which saw him step through a number of defenders. The conversion came back off the post, meaning Sarries trailed 17-12 with half time drawing closer.
There was still time for another Sarries score before the break, this time Rohan Burke bundled over from just in front of the posts, and Hall’s conversion but the North Londoners 19-17 ahead.
Bath edged ahead with the final play of the half courtesy of a Linegar penalty, meaning the visitors had a 20-19 lead at the break.
Sarries started the second half like a house on fire and took just one minute to re-take the lead with a stunning score. Newton, who was having a field day broke through three tackles and then his long looping pass found Fraser Rawlins on the left wing who dived over in the corner. Hall’s brilliant touchline conversion meant his side had a 26-20 lead.
The hosts were enjoying themselves and almost powered over for another one to take control of the game, but they were held up over the line and Bath escaped.
Bath then looked for a way back in to the game and Owen Gillett was sent to the sin-bin for the hosts, giving the visitors a man advantage on the hour mark.
They looked to take advantage of their extra man straight away, and had a five metre lineout but some outstanding Sarries defence ensured they stayed in control.
Bath did make it count as we entered the final quarter though, a period of pressure in the 22 ended with Sam Janaway going over, and the successful conversion put them 27-26 ahead with 19 minutes to go.
Newton came incredibly close to putting Sarries back ahead as he juggled an interception and grubbered ahead, but Bath won the race to the ball and stabbed it out of play.
Lock almost completed his hat trick as he came within inches of gathering a brilliant kick ahead, but some scramble defence from Sarries kept them in proceedings.
Bath sealed the win with the final play of the gamer however, as Sam Janaway bulldozed over to take the game away from the Londoners. The conversion made it 34-26 to the visitors after an entertaining game of rugby.