Saracens suffer defeat in season opener

Saracens suffer defeat in season opener

Saracens' Championship season has got off to a rocky start with a shock 25-17 defeat to Cornish Pirates.

The three-time European champions were stunned by the Pirates having been relegated due to salary cap breaches.

The Pirates dominated the set pieces despite Saracens fielding Rugby World Cup winning tighthead prop Vincent Koch in their front row along with former Scotland international Tim Swinson in the second row and the accomplished Michael Rhodes and Jackson Wray in the loose trio.

Luke Scully struck 10 points from the tee for the Pirates and was at the heart of his side’s play with Pirates coming back twice from behind to win.

Scotland wing Sean Maitland opened the scoring for Saracens in the 9th minute of the game with Manu Vunipola sending him over. Nine minutes later the Pirates responded through Luke Scully before Tom Duncan gave the hosts the lead after half an hour of action. 


Pirates’ lead, however, proved to be short-lived as six minutes before the break Alex Lewington scored to put Saracens back in front with Saracens leading at the break by two. 

Dan Frost edged the Pirates into the lead just 8 minutes after the break but again it was short-lived as Tim Swinson found his way over the whitewash just three minutes late with Vunipola's conversion reinstating the two point buffer.

That would be the final contribution Saracens made to the scoreline as the Pirates regained the lead with another Scully penalty before the flyhalf missed another.

However, Rhodri Davies rounded off a superb counter attack to score with minutes left on the clock. Scully slotted the extras as Saracens were denied a losing bonus point. 

Saracens' next clash in the Championship sees them host the Jersey Reds on March 13 while the high flying Pirates head to Richmond. 

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