Saints steamrollered by Saracens at Allianz Park

Cobus Reinach scored Saints' first try (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Cobus Reinach scored Saints' first try (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Saints' Champions Cup campaign finished as it started as the Saracens steamroller again proved too much to handle in a 62-14 defeat at Allianz Park.

The home side, who had cruised to a 57-13 win at Franklin's Gardens in October, ran in seven tries, taking their tally against Northampton to a massive 24 in three matches this season.

Saints had started brightly, with Cobus Reinach and Nafi Tuitavake scoring, but Saracens then got a firm grip of the game and did not look back.

They again surpassed a half-century of points, sticking the knife in time and again as Saints were made to suffer on a freezing afternoon in north London.

Saints travelled knowing they could not progress from Champions Cup Pool 2, but they were buoyed by recent victories against Gloucester and Clermont Auvergne.

The belief garnered from those games carried into the formative stages at Allianz Park as Alex Goode, on his 250th Saracens appearance, failed to gather cleanly and Reinach picked up to speed over the line and score.

Harry Mallinder added the simple conversion from in front of the posts, making it 7-0 after just five minutes.

Owen Farrell responded with a penalty and Saracens were soon ahead as one of their trademark relentless attacks resulted in Mako Vunipola powering over under the posts.

Farrell converted to make it 10-7, but Saints were soon showcasing their new-found confidence in a superb move that saw Tuitavake cruise in for his second score in as many matches.

The Tongan finished off an attack that was full of offloading ability and Mallinder converted to put his team back in front.

But the see-saw nature of the game continued and after Ben Foden took his time over a bouncing ball in his own 22 and then passed forward to Ken Pisi, Saracens scored again.

The ball was moved quickly after a solid scrum and Goode made up for his earlier error by diving over for the score.

Farrell converted and Saints then spurned a promising position from a lineout after Mallinder turned down a shot at goal to kick to the corner.

And Saracens soon made the away side pay as Farrell broke the line too easily and Marcelo Bosch finished the move off to bag his team's third try.

Farrell missed the conversion to leave the scores at 22-14 in the home side's favour, and Saints were soon enduring more misery.

Mallinder dropped the ball and Saracens were ruthless in their execution as Richard Wigglesworth claimed his side's fourth try.

It was the third time in as many meetings with Saints this season that Sarries had secured the bonus point before the break, and Farrell applied the gloss with the conversion.

It was to get worse for Saints as Jamie Gibson was sin-binned and Vincent Koch grabbed his team's fifth try.

Farrell converted with the final kick of a half that had started so well for Saints, but which ended with more misery at the hands of the Barnet-based opposition.

And Saracens continued on the front foot at the start of the second half, with Farrell landing a penalty to make it 39-14.

Gibson returned from the bin with his team still under huge pressure and Farrell quickly notched another penalty.

Saracens were soon scoring their sixth try as a dominant scrum provided a platform and the home side used the advantage to send Sean Maitland in out wide.

Farrell again converted to take his team up to 49 points for the day and after Vunipola was held up in his bid for another score, debutant Sione Vailanu powered over for Saracens.

It was a seventh try for the hosts as they took their tally past 50 points for the third time in as many matches against Saints this season.

Farrell again converted to make it 56-14 and he added two further penalties to rub more salt in the gaping wounds.

Finally referee Mathieu Raynal brought an end to the Saints anguish as the away side trudged off the field to contemplate another heavy defeat at the hands of Saracens.

Saracens: Goode; Maitland, Bosch (Lozowski 65), Barritt (c), Wyles (Earle 18); Farrell, Wigglesworth (Spencer 56); M Vunipola, George (Tolofua 65), Koch (Longbottom 68); Isiekwe, Kruis; Itoje (Skelton 65), Clark, Burger (Vailanu 60).

Tom Stephenson was forced off

Tom Stephenson was forced off

Saints: Foden; Pisi, Horne, Stephenson (North 56), Tuitavake; Mallinder (Myler 40), Reinach (Mitchell 61); Ma'afu (Van Wyk 61), Hartley (c), Brookes (Hill 61); Paterson, Day (Ludlam 56); Ribbans, Gibson, Eadie (Marshall 66)

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Attendance: 10,000

Saints scored twice at Allianz Park but were well beaten

Saints scored twice at Allianz Park but were well beaten