Saracens outgun WP

Saracens ran in six tries to defeat Western Province 46-22 at Allianz Park in London on Sunday.

It was a disappointing end to a solid season for WP, who overcame a poor start to the year to claim the Currie Cup title last month.

The Currie Cup champions made a good start to the match, taking the ball through 20 phases before winning a penalty which Demetri Catrakilis converted to give them a 3-0 lead.

Despite the good start, Saracens started to assert themselves on the match, and were rewarded with a try through out-of-favour England winger Chris Ashton. Their second came from another discarded English wing, as David Strettle produced a stunning finish after a wayward kick from Province.

The visitors hit back through Catrakilis, who got the better of Saracens tighthead prop Juan Figallo to go over for WP's first try. There was still time for two more efforts from Saracens, as Ashton grabbed his second before their South African duo of Allister Hargreaves and Mouritz Botha combined for the latter to go over in the corner. Charlie Hodgson's conversion made it 26-8 at half-time.

Province briefly got themselves back into the game when Catrakilis went over for his second try and Saracens were reduced to 14-men after replacement flank Will Fraser saw yellow. However, they were unable to take advantage of the numerical advantage.

Saracens added to penalties from the boot of Hodgson, before another effort from Man of the Match David Strettle effectively sealed the outcome. There was still time for Bongi Mbonambi to grab a try on debut, but Saracens responded with a sixth try through Will Fraser to seal a comfortable victory.

Saracens – Tries: Chris Ashton (2), David Strettle (2), Mouritz Botha, Will Fraser. Conversions: Charlie Hodgson (4), Ben Spencer. Penalties: Hodgson (2).
Western Province – Tries: Demetri Catrakilis (2), Bongi Mbonambi. Conversions: Catrakilis, Kurt Coleman. Penalty: Catrakilis.

Saracens – 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Tim Streather, 12 Chris Wyles, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Rhys Gill.
Subs: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22  Nils Mordt, 23  Duncan Taylor.

Western Province – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Jaco Van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhard Elstadt, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonami, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Jurie van Vuuren, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Michael van der Spuy.

Photo: WP Rugby