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PREVIEW: Unbeaten Saracens look to kick-on

Thursday 10th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Anche in Champions Cup la quinta giornata può essere quella dei primi verdetti

Anche in Champions Cup la quinta giornata può essere quella dei primi verdetti

Saracens will send a statement to their Champions Cup Pool One rivals if they can continue their dream start at Oyonnax on Saturday.

The 2014 runners-up have disposed of European heavyweights Toulouse and Ulster Rugby to claim nine points from their opening pair of matches. Mark McCall’s men are in-charge ahead of their double-header with Oyonnax, who narrowly missed out on a triumph in their first Champions Cup match ever – a 24-18 defeat at Toulouse.

Saracens may not be used to the Alpine conditions, but they will be playing on a similar 3G surface to the one at their Allianz Park home. The Top14 strugglers have failed to turn Stade Charles Mathon into a fortress this season, with just two wins from their five matches at home.

In contrast, Saracens have steamrollered their way through the early stages of the Premiership and still have a 100% record intact with six wins out of six. The more stats you look at, the larger the task gets fort Oyonnax. The North London side have scored 180 points, an average of 30 points a match, in their six domestic matches. They have carried that scoring form in the Champions Cup scoring 59 in their first two matches and conceding only 16. But Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch is not expecting an easy ride out n France.

“It’s always a tough going away to France, every team structures their training differently to English sides and are very strong at home. They will be desperate for a positive result so I am expecting a very tough game on Saturday. But we’ve training really well this week and we are going out their confident we can get a positive result.

“They have an artificial pitch just like ours at Allianz Park, so we have the knowledge of playing on that surface. It's a positive thing for us and nothing will change for us.”

Match Facts

  • Oyonnax will be playing in their first ever home in match in the Champions Cup, in the Challenge Cup they have won four and drawn one of their six home matches.
  • Oyonnax will also be facing a team from outside of France in the competition for the first time having played Toulouse in their opening Champions Cup game.
  • Saracens have won just three of their 10 Pool Stage games away to French opposition, including the last two in a row.
  • Five of Saracens’ seven tries in the competition have originated from a lineout win, the most of any side.


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REPORT: Sarries hit Oyonnax for six

Sunday 13th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Sans surprise

Sans surprise

Saracens cemented their place at the top of Pool 1 of the European Rugby Champions Cup with a 45-10 bonus-point win over Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon.

The English champions have a full haul of 15 points from three games after a penalty try, plus further scores from Alex Goode, Chris Wyles, Maro Itoje, Richard Wigglesworth and Schalk Brits sealed an emphatic victory.
Owen Farrell added a penalty and five conversions for a personal 13-point haul, with Charlie Hodgson kicking one conversion of his own.
Replacement Arthur Aziza scored a consolation try for the home side on the occasion of their first home fixture in Europe’s top-tier competition.
Saracens started strongly with Farrell getting the first points with his second penalty attempt. That lead was extended just before the end of the first quarter after a sharp attack sparked by the fly-half’s flat pass to Wyles ended with Oyonnax’s Silvere Tian being trapped in his own in goal area.
From the resulting scrum, Saracens got a nudge on and were awarded a penalty try when home captain Fabien Cibray strayed offside in an effort to stop them getting over the line.
The home side responded with a good period of their own and got their first points through a penalty from fly-half Rory Clegg, although the former Newcastle man had missed with two efforts in quick succession prior to finding the target.
But Saracens motored clear at the end of the first half. Goode, who produced an excellent individual performance, finished off a fine flowing move after Farrell had raced through a gap in midfield.
A few minutes later and Wyles was over after smart handling from the forwards sent Will Fraser into space to find the winger. They further extended their advantage shortly after the break as the excellent Itoje profited from Marcelo Bosch’s wide pass to finish out wide and secure the bonus-point.
From the restart another try quickly followed as Michael Rhodes rampaged up field to give Wigglesworth an easy finish. Oyonnax bravely battled on and were rewarded when Aziza showed great strength and determination to get over the line, but Saracens had the last word through Brits close-range effort.

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