Monday 23 January 2017

Oyonnax put to the sword by Saracens

Saracens 55-13 Oyonnax

Published 20/12/2015 | 02:30

Saracens' Mike Ellery and Oyonnax's Florian Denos during the European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Saracens. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Saracens' Mike Ellery and Oyonnax's Florian Denos during the European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Saracens. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Saracens' Owen Farrell kicks a conversion during the European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Saracens. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Oyonnax's Fetu'u Vainikolo and Saracens' Duncan Taylor during the European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Saracens. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Saracens' Chris Ashton and Oyonnax's Julien Blanc during the European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 19, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Saracens. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.

Saracens' Jamie George paid tribute to Paul Gustard after the 55-13 drubbing of Oyonnax in the European Champions Cup. Defence coach Gustard is expected to join England's new coaching set-up in the near future and hooker George said: "We are sorry to see him go but I'm so pleased for him.

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"He's been a huge part of the club for the past six years and has built up our defence, for which we are renowned. I've no doubt he will have enormous success with England."

After a slow start, Saracens impressed in scoring eight tries, with three from Chris Ashton, two from Samuela Vunisa and one each from Alex Goode, Jamie George and Mike Ellery.

Owen Farrell added a penalty and four conversions with replacement Charlie Hodgson adding two conversions in the 55-13 success.

Man of the match Ashton was not getting carried away after the convincing Allianz Park success.

Ashton said: "We go into every game trying to win it and we are in the position where we wanted to be after four games in this group. We have a couple of tough games coming up but we are just taking it week by week."

With this win, Saracens are virtually guaranteed a quarter-final place but their unbeaten record will come under fire in the forthcoming weeks as they face trips to Wasps and Harlequins and a home match against Leicester.

Saracens boss Mark McCall accepted there was a tough run of fixtures coming up.

"Things are going well, we've scored a lot of tries in our last four matches and it's a huge challenge," he said.

"I was really pleased with our second-half performance today. The test was to put in a better performance than last week and I think we achieved this as we prepared well and never underestimate any opposition."

Oyonnax could only manage one try from Fetu'u Vainikolo, which Rory Clegg converted. Outhalf Regis Lespinas completed their scoring with two penalties.

Lespinas accepted that it had been a tough afternoon for his side.

"It was hard for us. The try just before half-time killed us as we would have been happy with 15-6 at the interval but to go 20 points behind was too much for us," he said.

"We are bottom of the Pro12 table but we know how to stay in that. The Champions Cup is good for us as it is new and we have a very young side, some of whom are only 20."

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