European Champions Cup: Saracens 44-26 Scarlets

Owen Farrell
England's Owen Farrell scored 19 points with the boot and controlled the game in the loose with a commanding performance
Saracens (20) 44
Tries: M Vunipola, Tompkins, Bosch, Wyles, Rhodes Cons: Farrell (5) Pens: Farrell (3)
Scarlets (9) 26
Tries: Shingler Cons: Patchell Pens: Patchell (4)

Saracens produced a fine performance to beat a valiant Scarlets side 44-26 in the Champions Cup at Allianz Park.

The strength of the holders, who top Pool 3 on nine points, was evident in the first two tries - England prop Mako Vunipola dummying his way over and centre Nick Tompkins' fine solo effort.

Marcelo Bosch, Chris Wyles and Michael Rhodes secured Saracens' bonus point.

Flanker Aaron Shingler and Wales centre Jonathan Davies crossed for Scarlets, but too late to affect the result.

The visitors' Rhys Patchell had put the first points on the board with a third-minute penalty.

But when Vunipola picked up the ball out wide, the flamboyant forward threw a back-like dummy to slip one defender, and powered through another two to score the night's first try.

Both teams saw plenty of the ball, with Patchell and Farrell swapping penalties, but it was the home side who looked most dangerous.

And it was 21-year-old Tompkins who stretched the lead, beating defenders with exceptional footwork for a fine solo effort.

Nick Tompkins
Tompkins looked exceptional on his second European appearance, despite not knowing he was starting till shortly before kick-off

Two more Patchell penalties kept Scarlets within touching distance, but it was Saracens who again found the cutting edge at the start of the second half.

Both Vunipola brothers punched holes in the Welsh team's defence, before England fly-half Owen Farrell flung a loopy pass for Bosch to finish on the left wing.

Wyles put the bonus point within touching distance, finishing from 30 metres with aplomb after a Scarlets handling error.

Shingler scored the visitors' first try of the night just past the hour mark as both sides pursued the extra points.

Replacement eight Josh Macleod thundered off the base of the scrum to set up a second try for Scarlets, with Wales centre Davies powering over from close range.

But South African flanker Michael Rhodes swiftly struck back to secure the bonus point and extinguish any hopes the two tries had fanned of a Scarlets come back.

Saracens: Alex Goode; Sean Maitland, Marcelo Bosch, Nick Tompkins, Chris Wyles; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Juan Figallo, Maro Itoje, Jim Hamilton, Michael Rhodes, Billy Vunipola, Schalk Burger

Replacements: Jamie George, Richard Barrington, Petrus du Plessis, Kelly Brown, Jackson Wray, Ben Spencer, Alex Lozowski, Mike Ellery

Scarlets: Liam Williams; DTH van der Merwe, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Steff Evans; Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, David Bulbring, Aaron Shingler, John Barclay, Will Boyde

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Luke Garrett, Werner Kruger, Lewis Rawlins, Josh Macleod, Jonathan Evans, Dan Jones, Steff Hughes