Headlines have been in abundance as per usual when it comes to Saracens, the Daily Mail, that well known rugby paper, told us there was to be an exodus of players. The only absolute news from the club at that point had been to confirm that Liam Williams is heading back to Wales after his 3 years at the club. A move that wasn’t unexpected and most likely nothing to do with the current happenings in North London.
Subsequently Saracens have announced that both Max Malins and Ben Earl have re-signed until 2023, and that both will go to Bristol Bears on loan for the 20/21 season. Elliot Daly and Jamie George have both said they’ll be staying at Saracens, but no official announcement from the club as yet.
Various other rumours are doing the rounds, personally I just won’t give clicks to the click-bait articles, I’ll wait for official announcements.
A story came out of the rugby world while I’ve been taking my time to write this. Some Flybe staff were turned away from the game between Exeter Chiefs and Bath at the weekend. That came on the back of them losing their jobs. A really unfortunate event, compounded by an initial, we wont respond by Chiefs, then an, it’s Flybe’s fault and an offer of tickets to an A League game. All quite unpleasant, but once again many on social media have excelled themselves with the insults. The Be Kind agenda has once again gone missing, all round on this one. With many of my fellow Saracens fans putting the boot in, as they forgot how unpleasant it all was when the Saracens news broke. Similarly many Exeter fans forgot their own reaction at the time, not that this compares with the whole Saracens shenanigans! Social media really can be a depressing place at times.
It feels like a long time since I was at a live rugby match, I’ve rather lost my mojo when it comes to the game. But, I was looking forward to this game against Leicester Tigers. The first half wasn’t the best rugby I’ve seen, there was far too much kicking for my liking. Alex Lewington burst out of nowhere to score the only try of the first half, it was a cracker and added some excitement at least to the first 40. Tigers responded with 2 penalties kicked by Tom Hardwick who came on early in the half as a substitute, cool from a 20 year old thrown in at the deep end.
The Tigers pack were, huge! And I’d say that led to them wearying as the second half progressed. I had a ref link, as usual at a Premiership game and one thing I did notice was just how many Tigers players bent the ear of the referee, in particular the young scrum half Ben White, He did redeem himself with a great try however, getting over the line in spite of having Lewington on his back! Manu Vunipola also had a lot of interaction with Sir, who seemingly was unhappy with how the scrum was going.
That put Tigers in the lead, but a couple of key substitutions by Saracens, in Ben Spencer at Fly Half and the very welcome return of crowd favourite Michael Rhodes. That seemed to bring some ‘fizz’ to Saracens attack, it certainly livened things up. I must add that a yellow card for the striped coiffured Veainu freed up some space too!
Dominic Morris, whose had a couple of great games since his return from long term injury backed himself as the try line beckoned to score Saracens’ second try he left a couple of Tigers in his wake.
Brad Barritt was highly influential in the second half, with no repeat of his kick to no one in the first. He and Sub Jack Singleton combined with Alex Lewington for Saracens third. Manu Vunipola converted all 3 tries and added a penalty, the 19 year old is ice cool on the rugby pitch, he’s had invaluable experience this season.
Ben Spencer looked to have scored the fourth for Saracens but he was deemed to have knocked on, I must admit I thought he was putting his hands up to having touched the ball forward, but it could’ve gone either way. As it was, there was no fourth try, the scored finished on Saracens 24 Leicester Tigers 13.
Saracens travel to Bristol after a rest weekend, Leicester travel further south to face Exeter Chiefs. Here’s hoping fans are still able to watch!