1st XV v Ashley Down 30th November

On the back of their loss to Gloucester Old Boys, Saracens entertained bottom of the league Ashley Down determined to make up for the past week’s poor showing.
It was the Ashley Down that drew first blood with a penalty after Saracens were penalised for hands in the ruck after a scrum that almost drove the away side off of their own scrum.
From the restart, Ashley Down’s forwards utilised the pick and go but were kept quiet by the well organised home defence. Strong running from hooker Nick Hanby, made big gains for the Saracens attack and a well worked move opened up space for Sam Rimmer to touch down under the posts, with Latchford successfully converting.
It didn’t take long for Saracens to extend their lead, after some scrappy play by Ashley Down, Saracens turned the ball over and a lovely line ran by Wilkinson brought another 5 points with Latchford adding 2 more with the conversion.
A sneaky breakaway by number eight Leroy Hughes opened a huge hole in the away team’s defence and a beautiful offload from Chris Windley put lock Will Dove through for a try on his return from injury. A confident Latchford kept his cool to make it three from three.
The game died down a little bit after this with most of the play focused on the centre of the field, until an offside decision against Saracens provided Ashley Down with a lineout and a catch and drive eventually gifted them a try, which was unconverted.

Half time score: 21-8.

The second half started with a good pace with more strong running from Smallman and Rimmer. The hands through the backs following another strong Smallman run put centre Dom Richardson through just left of the posts. This was again converted.
With Ashley Down generously kicking possession away at every opportunity, Saracens’ backs were allowed to make their mark and another good Rimmer run followed by a cross-field kick by Latchford put Wilkinson through for his second try. Latchford made it a 100% record to add another 2 points.
Saracens took their foot off the pedal a little after this and a number of penalties let the away side back in with another catch and drive for an unconverted try for the final score of the match.
Saracens tried to put one last score on the board but sloppy play and a good defence stopped them from adding more points. Ashley Down put the pressure on with one final attack but a knock on brought an end to the game.

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