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Saracens will look to maintain their outstanding home record in the EPCR Challenge Cup when they host Gallagher Premiership rivals London Irish for the first time in the competition on Sunday.
The three-time European Cup winners are bottom of Pool C after losing both games this season, but they have won 27 of their 30 home matches in the competition.
Other key facts:
- London Irish have lost six of their seven meetings against fellow Premiership clubs in the EPCR Challenge Cup.
- London Irish have won their last four games in the pool stage of the Challenge Cup but have not won five in a row since 2013.
- Saracens have enjoyed 70% territory in the Challenge Cup this season, more than any other team, while London Irish have recorded the second highest tally (58.7%).
- London Irish No.8 Olly Cracknell has scored the most tries of any player so far in this season’s Challenge Cup (3), crossing in each of his two appearances in 2021/22.
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Saracens came from behind to record their first victory in the EPCR Challenge Cup this season, defeating London Irish 45-24 at StoneX Stadium on Sunday.
Mark McCall’s men crossed six times in the Pool C clash as they overcame their Gallagher Premiership rivals, but Irish’s bonus point try was enough to secure their place in the Round of 16.
Irish struck first, with a ninth-minute try from James Stokes converted by Rory Jennings.
The hosts got one back four minutes later through Sean Maitland, but Irish continued to press, with Cillian Redmond scoring after 19 minutes, and replacement Benhard van Rensburg adding the extras.
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) January 23, 2022
Then Alex Lewington scored twice in six minutes, both converted by Manu Vunipola, and Elliot Daly dotted down seven minutes before half-time to go in at the break with a ten-point lead, 24-14.
Juan Gonzalez, on a sprint, got a try back for Irish five minutes after the restart but Vincent Koch scored Sarries’ fifth try of the afternoon moments later.
There was a flurry of late scoring to add to the drama – a try from Saracens’ Harvey Beaton, converted by Vunipola again, was followed just a minute later by a try from Henry Arundell, racing down the touchline and securing the all-important bonus point for Irish.
Sarries got the last word, though, Eroni Mawi scoring with the final play of the game and Vunipola sending his kick over to underline the victory.