Premiership: Saracens beat Northampton 36-17 with six tries
|Saracens (29) 36|
|Tries: Maitland 2, Tompkins, Strettle, Woolstencroft, Penalty Cons: Spencer 2|
|Northampton (3) 17|
|Tries: Marshall, Ludlam Cons: Hutchinson 2 Pen: Hutchinson|
Saracens scored six tries as they returned to winning ways in the Premiership to beat Northampton.
It took less than half an hour for the hosts to record a try-bonus point through a Sean Maitland brace and Nick Tompkins and David Strettle.
Tom Woolstencroft and a penalty try inflicted further damage on Saints.
Reece Marshall and Lewis Ludlam bagged consolation tries in the second half but an afternoon of indiscipline with two yellow cards cost the visitors.
Saints' luck was out before kick-off when they lost fly-half James Grayson through injury from their original line-up.
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Injuries also forced Chris Boyd to replace starting prop Paul Hill and centre Fraser Dingwall in the opening quarter.
After Scotland winger Maitland, Tompkins and Strettle had already crossed for Sarries, Luther Burrell's yellow card allowed Maitland the space out left for his second and his side's bonus point.
Scrum-half Alex Mitchell also spent time in the sin-bin in the second half when he took out try line-bound Ben Spencer as he raced through from a tap penalty, leading referee Luke Pearce to award the penalty try.
Second-placed Saracens' bonus-point win moves them a point closer to leaders Exeter, who were only able to take four points from their win at Sale.
Defeat for Northampton was only their second in the past six games, stretching their wait for victory over Saracens to nine fixtures in all competitions.
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:
"Overall, we're very pleased to have won the game and to have got five points is great.
"But it was soured a little bit by how we played in the last 20 minutes because we got ahead of ourselves and did things we wouldn't ordinarily do.
"We judge ourselves on effort and outcome and the second half was very disappointing. We made a lot of decisions based on the scoreboard rather than what was best for the situation.
"But this group of players has done very well during the international windows, which have been challenging for us over the past couple of years.
"We've won four out of five games, got 20 points from those matches and it's a great effort from the group."
Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd told BBC Radio Northampton:
"They were too good for us in the first 40 minutes and really applied a lot of pressure that we battled to respond to, but we couldn't get our game going.
"I was on the flipside of it as I was happy that we knuckled down and didn't go away in the second 40 minutes.
"There's some really good learnings for us as a group collectively.
"At the end of the day, without a supply of good, quality ball it makes it very difficult for our young, inexperienced players to impose their game."
Saracens: Malins; Strettle, Tompkins, Barritt (capt), Maitland; Goode, Spencer; Barrington, Woolstencroft, Judge, Skelton, Isiekwe, Clark, Earl, Wray.
Replacements: Gray, Lamositele, Koch, Kpoku, Burger, Wigglesworth, Lozowski, Gallagher.
Northampton Saints: Tuala; K Pisi, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Collins; Furbank, Mitchell; Van Wyk, Fish, Hill, Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Ludlam (capt), Brüssow.
Replacements: Marshall, Waller, Franks, Moon, Wood, Reinach, Burrell, Kellaway.
Sin-bin: Burrell (27), Mitchell (51).
Referee: Luke Pearce.
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