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Sean Maitland bags a brace as Saracens ease past Exeter

Two tries from new recruit Sean Maitland saw Saracens record a convincing 34-13 win against Exeter to top the Aviva Premiership with two bonus point wins.

Last season, Saracens were fortunate to be the only team to win at Sandy Park but there was nothing lucky about this success.

Maitland (two), Jackson Wray, Ben Spencer and Alex Lozowski scored tries for Saracens with Alex Goode converting three and kicking a penalty.

Luke Cowan-Dickie scored Exeter's try which Gareth Steenson converted while Henry Slade added two penalties.

George Kruis was a late withdrawal for Saracens with a back injury and he was replaced by Jim Hamilton.

The visitors had the first chance for points but Marcelo Bosch's penalty attempt was blown off target before Saracens took the lead with a fifth minute try.

Lozowski brushed aside two weak tackles to open the scoring with Goode's conversion giving his side a dream start.

Saracens controlled the opening ten minutes but the hosts had the next opportunity for points, which Slade squandered by missing a penalty attempt.

Exeter suffered two further blows in quick succession. First Phil Dollman left the field with an injury to be replaced by Max Bodilly before a drive from Jamie George gave Bosch the chance to send Maitland over for Saracens' second try

It had been a miserable first 28 minutes for the Chiefs but two simple penalties from Slade put them on the scoreboard with the sin-binning of Richard Wigglesworth for a trip on Slade giving them an additional boost.

Exeter looked to have taken advantage of the scrum half's absence when Bodilly seemed a certain scorer but a brilliant tackle from Lozowski hauled the wing down just short of the line.

A minute after the restart, Wigglesworth returned with no damage done to the scoreboard and immediately benefited from the wind in his favour with a lengthy touchfinder.

The scrum half began to control the match with some well-judged passing and Saracens looked to have extended their lead when Mako Vunipola forced his way over only for the TMO to rule that the prop was in touch before he grounded the ball.

After 52 minutes, Goode kicked a penalty to reward his side's dominance of the opening period of the second half but moments later the full back surprisingly missed with a kick from exactly the same position.

It mattered little because an excellent movement created a second try for Maitland, which was converted by Goode and at 22-6 the game was effectively over.

A strong run from Billy Vunipola sent Wray over for the bonus point try with Cowan-Dickie's response, a mere consolation before Spencer picked up a loose pass to emphasize Saracens' superiority.


From Belfast Telegraph