Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Sarries boosted by Vunipola brace

Mako Vunipola scored two tries for Sarries

Saracens celebrated their Aviva Premiership debut at Allianz Park by demolishing Exeter 31-11 with a rare four-try victory.

Before this match the 2011 champions had run in only 14 tries in as many games - the lowest number in the league - but Mako Vunipola crossed twice and Charlie Hodgson and Matt Stevens also touched down in a bonus-point win.

It was a ringing endorsement for the artificial pitch at Saracens' new £24million ground in Barnet, which was staging its second match but the first in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd.

The only potential cloud hanging over the £500,000 surface designed specifically for rugby union was the terrible place kicking displays produced by fly-halves Hodgson and Gareth Steenson.

Between them they missed six shots at goal and 18 points before the interval, although normal service resumed for Hodgson in the second half when his sights had been readjusted.

Rampaging England prop Vunipola finished man of the match after spearheading an impressive win that underlines Saracens' title credentials and drives another nail into the coffin of Exeter's play-off aspirations.

Richard Baxter scored the Chiefs' only try of the game, with Steenson adding two penalties.

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