Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 13-34 Saracens

Jackson Wray
Flanker Jackson Wray touched down to secure the bonus point for Saracens
Exeter (6) 13
Tries: Cowan-Dickie Cons: Steenson Pens: Slade 2
Saracens (12) 34
Tries: Lozowski, Maitland 2, Wray, Spencer Cons: Goode 3 Pens: Goode

Saracens showed why they are the Premiership champions with an impressive bonus-point win at Exeter in a repeat of last season's final.

Sarries took advantage of some poor Chiefs defending early on as Alex Lozowski crossed for a try, before Sean Maitland dived over soon after.

Henry Slade slotted two penalties for Chiefs, but Sarries then took control.

Maitland's second, as well as tries from Jackson Wray, Ben Spencer and Mike Ellery secured the impressive win.

The victory was Saracens' second successive win at Sandy Park - they are the only side to register a win at the Chiefs since January 2015.

Saracens top the early-season standings with 10 points, having secured a bonus point in a similarly dominant display in their opening fixture against Worcester.

Even first period

The visitors dominated the first quarter of the game and struck in the fifth minute as Lozowski skipped through Henry Slade's poor tackle.

The England centre, starting his second game at fly-half for Exeter, missed a penalty minutes later and soon after Saracens increased the advantage as Maitland dived over in the corner after great handling from Marcelo Bosch.

That score galvanised Exeter, who started to look like the attacking force that lit up the league last season, as Thomas Waldrom's effort was chalked off by the TMO and Slade slotted two penalties from close range.

Sarries had scrum-half Richard Wrigglesworth sin-binned after 31 minutes following a trip on Slade - a decision given by referee JP Doyle after TMO Geoff Warren had initially said it was not an infringement.

Saracens hit their straps

Saracens inflicted Exeter's heaviest home defeat for two-and-a-half years

After the break the champions dominated as Maitland went over in the left corner, Sarries sucking in Exeter on the right before spreading the play and finding the Scotland winger, before Wray was the beneficiary following a surging run from Billy Vunipola.

Exeter had been stifled by a suffocating Saracens defence for much of the second half, but in their only foray into opposing territory they did come away with a try, as England hooker Cowan-Dickie was forced over following a determined stand by the visitors on their own line.

But with the clock at 80 minutes, replacement Mike Ellery, who moments earlier had knocked on when right on the Exeter line, got hold of a loose ball and went in under the posts to put the gloss on an impressive Saracens showing.

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Sport: "The truth is you can't just be good against Saracens, you have to be very, very good, and I thought today a lot of the time were were just good.

"It is frustrating and it's a focus thing. We had little moments of just losing focus, it hurts you against a very good side and I think we've seen it two weeks in a row.

"Now we're in an interesting position as we've lost a couple of games for the first time at the start of a season, we're bottom of the league and we have a good team [Harlequins] coming here next week."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall: "I thought it was a big step up from where we were last week.

"It was a massive step up in terms of our energy, our intensity and our physicality right from the off.

"The first 20 minutes went as well as they could have gone really. They came back into it and we had to show a lot of our fighting qualities, but once we got through that period 12-6 up it was a tall order for them to play into the breeze."

Exeter: Dollman; Turner, Devoto, Hill, Whitten; Slade, Chudley; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Holmes, Parling (capt), Welch, Armand, Salvi, Waldrom

Replacements: Yeandle, Hepburn, Williams, Lees, Dennis, Lewis, Steenson, Bodilly

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Bosch, Barritt (capt), Maitland; Lozowski, Wigglesworth; Vunipola, George, Du Plessis, Itoje, Hamilton, Wray, Burger, Vunipola

Replacements: Brits, Barrington, Figallo, Brown, Rhodes, Spencer, Tompkins, Ellery

Top Stories