Sara­cens fin­ish with flour­ish

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Lon­don: When Sara­cens fi­nally got go­ing at Twick­en­ham yes­ter­day new au­di­ences in Amer­ica may have al­ready switched off. The Aviva Premier­ship is ex­pand­ing to new mar­kets but those across the At­lantic who rose early to watch the ‘Game of the Week’ for the first time on NBC TV would have been for­given for head­ing back to bed af­ter the first half. A far cry from the ex­cite­ment and drama un­der the Fri­day night lights at King­sholm the Waisea Nay­a­calevu. day be­fore, this one took a half to get go­ing.

Only 6-3 at the break, with mis­takes aplenty, it was not the best sell. But within six min­utes of the sec­ond half be­gin­ning it was over as a con­test as Sara­cens clicked into gear to win 35-3.While it may not have been the best show­case of English rugby for the Amer­i­can broad­caster, who signed a three-year-deal to show 24 matches a sea­son, those who did stick with it would have seen the cham­pi­ons win well in cruise con­trol. The north Lon­don­ers scored four tries in to­tal, through Jamie Ge­orge, Alex Lo­zowski, Schalk Burger and Ben Spencer for a rou­tine bonus-point win, as the Worces­ter de­fence, so solid in the first 40 min­utes, be­came all the more por­ous as the game wore on.

It was a dour first half, with far too many ba­sic han­dling er­rors. Sar­ries di­rec­tor of rugby Mark McCall ad­mit­ted: ‘I am happy we got five points, but not happy over­all. ‘It was a hugely rusty per­for­mance. I thought we de­fended re­ally well so that’s al­ways some­thing to hang your hat on. It was pretty calm at half time and we were pretty ruth­less in that first 15 min­utes of the sec­ond half.’ Re­sults: Aviva Premier­ship- Har­lequins 21-19 Bris­tol: Sara­cens 35-3 Worces­ter, Northamp­ton 14-18 Bath, New­cas­tle 19-17 Sale, Glouces­ter 31-38 Le­ices­ter.

Guin­ness Pro 12: Cardiff Blues 3416 Ed­in­burgh, Con­nacht 5-41 Glas­gow War­riors, Scar­lets13-23 Mun­ster, Le­in­ster 20-8 Ben­neton Tre­viso, Ospreys 59-5 Ze­bre, Ul­ster29-8 New­port Gwent Dragons. Planet Rugby

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