European Challenge Cup - Pool 5
Saracens scrap to victory over Mont-de-Marsan
January 23, 2009
Andy Farrell scored the first try for Saracens
© Getty Images
Saracens fought to a 24-3 victory in their European Challenge Cup tie against Mont-de-Marsan. Tries from Andy Farrell, Matias Aguero and Don Barrell guaranteed Eddie Jones' men a home-quarter final despite atrocious conditions in France.
Jean Marc Mazonetto gave the home-side an early lead before Farrell seized the initiative, bounding onto a flat pass and dissecting the defence to crash over under the posts after Gordon Ross had levelled the scores with a penalty.
Some strong work from Barrell at the base of a 5m scrum then caused havoc in the Mont-de-Marsan defence, with Matias Aguero pouncing on a loose ball to score the visitors' second try. Ross slotted an excellent conversion from the touchline before the conditions got the better of any attacking play from either side before half-time.
Barrell won further reward for his good performance when be bundled over for Sarries' third try after a rolling move from a lineout just before the 50 minute mark. Ross was again on target with the conversion.
Saracens then lost replacement Adam Powell to the sin-bin after he barged in from the side at a ruck, and despite several phases of intense pressure towards the end of the game they were unable to cross for the bonus-point try.
Mont de Marsan: JM Mazonetto, N le Roux, D Senio, M Taele, S Ternisien, F Urruty, F Tandonnet, G Leleu, T Leota, S Ormaechea, F Rawls, R Berek, Y Brethous, R Bernard, J Tastet
Replacements: C Blanchard, B Coutts, J Mynhardt, J Carre, P van Schalkwik, A Abbad, A Genthieu
Saracens: A Goode, N Cato, K Sorrell, A Farrel, R Penney, G Ross, M Wilson, M Aguero, F Ongaro, C Johnston, S Borthwick, K Chesney, D Seymour, A Saull, D Barrell
Replacements: A Walker, T Mercey, BD Skirving, A Powell, K Ratuvou, E Thrower