Dingwall delivers a hat-trick but Saints are left stunned by Saracens fightback

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Saints were hit by a stunning Saracens comeback as Phil Dowson's side surrendered a 39-17 lead to lose 45-39 at StoneX Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Fraser Dingwall's hat-trick had helped Saints cruise to a try bonus point and Saracens looked beaten, having suffered several injuries during the game.

But a Lukhan Salakaia-Loto yellow card gave the hosts renewed hope as they started to claw their way back.

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And, inspired by skipper Ben Earl, Saracens pulled themselves off the canvas, staging a remarkable recovery.

Fraser Dingwall scored a hat-trick for Saints at Saracens, but it wasn't to be enoughFraser Dingwall scored a hat-trick for Saints at Saracens, but it wasn't to be enough
Fraser Dingwall scored a hat-trick for Saints at Saracens, but it wasn't to be enough

Tom James was sin-binned with eight minutes to go, having just come on for Alex Mitchell, and Saracens won it late on thanks to Elliot Daly's late try.

It meant Saracens made it nine wins in as many games at the start of the Gallagher Premiership season, while Saints headed home with two points, knowing it should have been so much more.

At the start of the game, Saints had continued their unwelcome trend of giving away a very early penalty, allowing Alex Goode to put the home side ahead inside two minutes.

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But Saracens soon gave away a couple of penalties of their own, allowing Saints to kick to the corner.

And it was a big start from the away pack as they helped Mike Haywood to force his way over from a clever lineout move.

Fin Smith slotted the conversion superbly from the touchline.

Saints were really finding their stride and they put the pressure on at scrum time, winning a penalty deep in Saracens territory.

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But they didn't need it as they used the advantage to great effect, with Rory Hutchinson's clever inside pass sending Dingwall over.

Saracens had struggled to get started, with Saints keeping them at arm's length, but the hosts got up and running after sending the ball to the left for Sean Maitland to score.

Goode converted, but Saracens, who had earlier lost loosehead prop Robin Hislop, were hit with a blow as Max Malins was forced off with an injury.

Saints were starting to lose their early momentum though, and they were giving shipping penalties, one of which was missed by Goode.

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Saracens thought they had their second score after Earl went over, but there was an obstruction from Maitland from Salakaia-Loto in the build-up and it was ruled out.

Saints welcomed the reprieve and they were soon given another penalty for a late hit on Smith, who slotted the kick superbly.

Smith was in the thick of the action and he did fantastically to create a score for Dingwall, beating a man, flying through a gap before offloading to the centre for the try.

Smith converted and the lead was 14 points.

Saracens soon lost another loosehead prop as James Flynn, like Hislop earlier, failed his head injury assessment, meaning the scrums became uncontested.

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Saints added another three points to their tally through a Smith penalty, but Saracens scored a key try before the break as Maitland cut inside and dotted down.

Goode converted and the gap was 10 points as the teams trotted in for half-time.

Saracens lost a third prop just a minute into the second half as Marco Riccioni had to be replaced by hooker Ethan Lewis.

Saints tried to take immediate advantage of the disruption, and they did so after Smith and Tommy Freeman combined superbly to send Dingwall over for his hat-trick try.

It was also the bonus-point score for Saints.

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Smith missed the conversion, ending an incredible run of 17 successful kicks from the tee since joining Saints.

But Smith was soon back on track, adding the extras after Angus Scott-Young had released Courtnall Skosan for Saints' fifth try of the game.

Saints lost a man to the sin bin with 25 minutes to go as Salakaia-Loto was yellow carded for a high tackle.

Saracens were soon held up over the line but the pressure remained on Saints as they had conceded a penalty.

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Eventually, Saracens found their way over as Maitland broke down the left before releasing Gareth Simpson for the score.

Goode converted and the gap was down to 15 points with 19 minutes still to play.

Goode was soon engineering a try for Josh Hallett after Earl had made another big break.

And the conversion cut the deficit to just eight points as Saracens started to build really hope for the final 15 minutes.

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Saints were hit with another blow eight minutes from time as James, who had just come on, was sin-binned for a high tackle.

Saracens soon took advantage, scoring through the excellent Earl.

And Goode's conversion cut the gap to a point with six minutes still to play.

It was unravelling badly for Saints and Saracens were all the way back when Earl broke yet again, leading to a try for Daly.

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Alex Lozowski took his time before converting, making it 45-39 to the hosts with a minute to go.

Saracens caught the kick-off and saw the game out to claim an incredible win.

Saracens: Malins (Hallett 23); Lewington (Howe 72), Daly, Lozowski, Maitland; Goode, van Zyl (Simpson 60); Hislop (Flynn 11 (Carey 34)), Dan (Stonham 72), Riccioni (Lewis 41); Hunter-Hill, Kitchener (Tizard 40); Christie, Earl (c), Wray.

Saints: Furbank (Ramm 72); Freeman, Dingwall (c), Hutchinson (Proctor 68), Skosan; F Smith, Mitchell (James 72); A Waller (Iyogun 40), Haywood (R Smith 60), Hill; Salakaia-Loto, Moon; Scott-Young (Nansen 60), Graham, Augustus.

Referee: Andrew Jackson