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Premiership: Saracens 56-15 Wasps - Max Malins claims four-try haul for ruthless hosts

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Published in Rugby
Sunday, 24 October 2021 10:29

Saracens moved up to third in the Premiership with a 56-15 demolition of a depleted Wasps at the StoneX Stadium.

Wasps lost four players to injury before half-time and Jamie George, Max Malins and Billy Vunipola all crossed to give Sarries a 27-3 half-time lead.

Malins secured the bonus-point try before Wasps hit back through Jimmy Gopperth and Zach Kibirige.

But Malins went over twice more before Alex Lozowski and Ben Earl capped an eight-try rout.

Earl's last-gasp try underlined Saracens' ruthless streak, working their socks off to cap an already well-won contest and go past 50 points for a second successive weekend following their 71-17 destruction of Bath.

Sarries are now within seven points of leaders Leicester - the only team to beat them in 15 matches - with a game in hand, while Wasps stay 10th and have won just two of their past nine Premiership away trips.

Wasps were the last team to beat Saracens in their own backyard 13 months ago but 16 players missed the trip and their injury woes worsened as Will Simonds, Tom Cruse, Pieter Scholtz and Ben Morris all went off before half-time.

The visitors twice worked their way into good attacking positions in the Sarries 22 early on, only for England lock Maro Itoje to win back possession both times, the second of which set up a rapid break that ultimately led to George cantering over.

Gopperth's penalty got the visitors on the board but another error in their opponents' 22 was ruthlessly exploited by Saracens as Nick Tompkins' blistering break was finished off by Malins.

The impressive Vunipola burrowed over on the stroke of half-time while Malins added a simple second after the interval.

Wasps hinted at the unlikeliest of comebacks when Gopperth finished off in the corner and Kibirige outpaced Owen Farrell in the chase for Nick Crossdale's counter-attacking kick to cut the deficit to 32-15.

However, a clever break and looping pass from Itoje allowed Malins to finish in the corner and make it back-to-back hat-tricks following his treble against Bath.

Malins' fourth score came courtesy of another of his England team-mates as Farrell - who added 16 points with the boot - showed excellent vision to run a defence-splitting line. Lozowski then exchanged passes with Alex Lewington to cross against his former employers before Earl's coup de grace.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said:

"It wasn't error-free, there were mistakes along the way, but the pleasing thing was how we dealt with them - we just moved on to the next thing."

(On Max Malins): "He wouldn't have benefitted from playing in the Championship last year. Those players who were 23, 24, we knew we couldn't afford to stop their development by playing in the Championship for a year and he was one of those.

"It will be interesting to see [where he plays for England] - he's played four games for us; two at full-back and two on the left wing, which is the rotation we wanted to do.

"I think he prefers playing at 15, if I'm honest, but we'll wait and see - he's doing pretty good on the left wing."

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett told BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire:

"We were too sloppy with the ball. I thought at the set-piece we probably had an off day and we never put any back-to-back efforts in with the ball, we never put any pressure on.

"We've got a lot of guys out, I think there were six players making their debuts so we get to see more players in a Wasps jersey, especially a few of the younger guys.

"It's more time on the pitch for them, more time playing at this level, but I don't think you can take too many positives away from a defeat like that.

"We turned over the ball a fair few times, but gave it back immediately. I thought when we put passes together we looked dangerous, but we just never had enough of them."

Saracens: Goode; Maitland, D Morris, Tompkins, Malins; Farrell (capt), Davies; M Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Isiekwe, Christie, Earl, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Woolstencroft, Barrington, Riccioni, Swinson, Wray, van Zyl, Lozowski, Lewington.

Wasps: Crossdale; Kibirige, McHenry, Simonds, Minozzi; Gopperth (capt), Hougaard; West, Cruse, Scholtz, De Chaves, Cardall, Morris, Young, Carr.

Replacements: Holling, Hislop, Millar-Mills, Stooke, Curran, Porter, Mathews, Mehson.

Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU).

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