English Premiership side Saracens over-powered a spirited Boland in the second match on their South African tour in Wellington on Wednesday, winning 52-20 – with former Sharks midfielder Brad Barritt scoring two of his team’s eight tries.
Ebrahim Moerat writes for Rugby 365 that the tourists dominated possession early in the game, but struggled to overcome some resilient defence by the Bolanders.
The tourists matched the hosts’ enthusiasm, as both teams seemed determined to run with the ball on a scorching Wellington summer’s day.
Boland captain Conrad Burke inspired his team with a long range effort, showing a great turn of speed, to send Godwin Damon over for the opening score after 12 minutes.
Jacquin Jansen added the extras to give the hosts a 7-0 lead, which brought the small Boland crowd to their feet and managed to take the smile off the face of Saracens boss Eddie Jones.
It took the English side 30 minutes to get on the scoreboard, with scrumhalf Mickey Wilson dotting down after a well-worked line-out by the Saracens forwards. Gordon Ross converted to level the scores.
With both sides reduced to 14 men after Sarries pivot Gordon Ross and Boland lock Frikkie Spies were sin-binned, the Saracens forwards progressively started to dominate the tight exchanges – which saw replacement flank Justin Melck crossing the line four minutes before half-time.
Boland hit back on the stroke of half-time with a penalty by Jansen, which reduced the deficit to four points at the break.
Saracens started the second half much like the first dominating possession with their forwards making a concerted effort to get to the contact areas, which created more scoring opportunities for the backs.
Former Sharks centre Brad Barritt went in next to the posts, which signalled the tourists intent to close out the game.
However, replacement flyhalf Lionel Cornelius kept Boland in the game with a penalty shortly after Barritt’s score.
Leading 21-13 Ross ran in a five-pointer after sustained pressure by the tourists. He converted to make it 29-13.
Sarries then kept piling on the pressure, particularly around the fringes, which resulted in hooker Alex Walker’s score to put the game seemingly beyond the Bolanders’ reach.
However, Boland were not going to give up and wing Luvo Sogidashe showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition after intercepting inside his own 22 meter area. Jansen’s conversion made it 20-36.
Replacement back Andy Farrell grabbed two late tries shortly after coming on to finally kill off the Boland effort, while Barritt also grabbed his second score to give the tourists a comprehensive 52-20 victory.
Tries: Wilson, Melck, Ross, Walker, Farrell 2, Barritt 2
Cons: Ross 4, Jackson 2
Tries: Damon, Sogidashe
Cons: Jansen 2
Pens: Jansen, Cornelius
Yellow cards: Frikkie Spies (Boland), Gordon Ross (Saracens), Mickey Wilson (Saracens)
Boland: 15 Donovan Smith, 14 Alvin Hugo, 13 Godwin Damon, 12 Dewey Swartbooi, 11 Luvo Sogidashe, 10 Jacquin Jansen, 9 Juwell Samuels, 8 Junior Bester, 7 Andre du Toit, 6 Garth Faro, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Ivan Espag, 2 Conrad Burke (captain), 1 Christo McNish.
Replacements – from: Pieter Bruynhardt, Tros Botha, Smit Janse van Rensburg, Quinton de Bruyn, Denzil Willemse, Emile Smith, Lionel Corneliüs, Wendal Wehr, Marcell du Preez, Hendrik van Niekerk.
Saracens: 15 Glen Jackson (captain), 14 Rodd Penney, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Edd Thrower, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Mickey Wilson, 8 Don Barrell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Hayden Smith, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Kris Chesney, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Alex Walker, 1 Nick Lloyd.
Replacements – from: Andy Kyriacou, Jordan Mitchell, Cencus Johnston, Tom Ryder, Harry Spencer, Wikus van Heerden, Ben Skirving, Will Fraser, Justin Melck, Jackson Wray, Justin Marshall, Andy Farrell, Chris Wyle.