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November 17, 2018
European Rugby Champions Cup: Saracens 29-10 Lyon OU
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European Rugby Champions Cup: Saracens 29-10 Lyon OU


Itoje recovered from a broken nose against Glasgow to take his place in the Saracens’ line-up
Heineken Champions Cup
Saracens (17) 29
Tries: Itoje, Maitland, Barritt, Lewington Cons: Farrell (3) Pen: Farrell
Lyon (3) 10
Try: Lacombe Con: Beauxis Pens: Beauxis

Saracens made it two wins from two in their hunt for a third Champions Cup title, seeing off Lyon at Allianz Park.

The English champions scored their first try as Maro Itoje stripped the ball from Etienne Oosthuizen’s grasp and raced in from halfway.

Sean Maitland pounced on an error to add another before Brad Barritt rolled over in a driven maul after the break.

Virgile Lacombe burrowed over for Lyon, but Alex Lewington streaked in for a fourth try and the hosts’ bonus point.

Saracens have won 16 of their last 17 home games in Europe and Lyon never looked likely to replicate the exceptional 46-14 success of compatriots Clermont in December.

Champions Cup Pool Three
Played Won Points
1. Saracens 2 2 9
2. Cardiff 1 1 4
3. Glasgow 1 0 0
4. Lyon 2 0 0

It was an accomplished display from the hosts, who won in comfort without ever finding their top gear.

But after narrow, bruising wins over Glasgow and Harlequins on consecutive weekends, Saracens coach Mark McCall will be pleased his side found a way to victory with plenty to spare.

Itoje at home on the flank

Itoje raced away for Saracens’ first try after 13 minutes

Itoje packed down at blindside in the win in Scotland six days ago and the second-row specialist once again proved he has the athleticism and all-round game to excel in the back row.

His try came as he ripped the ball clean from Lyon second row Oosthuizen and cantered to the line from halfway with the cover defence unable to get close.

It was one of several breaks with only wing Liam Williams making more metres in the match.

Lyon run up against Saracens defence

Former Bristol and Bath number eight Carl Fearns came on for Lyon

Lyon manoeuvred their way into promising positions on a number of occasions, but it was not until the 69th minute that they finally pierced the home defence to add to Lionel Beauxis’ penalty.

The Saracens defence was resolute and their forwards took loud and repeated delight in their set-piece successes.

Saracens also had an array of exit strategies with the pace of Maitland and Owen Farrell’s accurate kicking both providing outlets.

It is a potent combination that could well be in the mix come the final at Newcastle’s St James’ Park on 11 May.

Saracens: Goode; Williams, Tompkins, Barritt (cap), Maitland; Farrell, Spencer; Barrington, George, Koch, Skelton, Kruis, Itoje, Rhodes, Wray.

Replacements: Tolofu, Thompson-Stringer, Lamositele, Earl, Burger, Wigglesworth, Bosch, Lewington.

Lyon: Ngatai; Mignot, Wulf, Regard, Nakaitaci; Beauxis, Doussain; Menini, Ivaldi, Gomez-Kodela, Lambey, Roodt, Puricelli (cap), Goujon, Sobela.

Replacements: Maurouard, Chaume, Ric, Carizza, Fearns, Cretin, Delord, Barassi.

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