London Welsh keep up winning ways with eight try victory
A crowd of almost 200 ignored the distraction of the Six Nations and, on a cold, damp afternoon, watched London Welsh extended their lead at the top of Herts/Middx 1 with a bonus point win over Saracens.
Morgan Browne was the first on the score sheet when he pounced to intercept a short range pass to touchdown over the line. Rhys Tudur Davies added the conversion and London Welsh were 7-0 ahead with less than four minutes on the clock. Welsh dominated the first quarter of an hour with Saracens not once touching the ball in the home team's half. That dominance led to the next score and when the referee deemed that the ball hadn't been grounded the resulting scrum gave Elis Staines the space to score. Rhys Tudur Davies added his second conversion of the match.
A further fifteen minutes passed before the next try. Simon Davies had taken play into Saracens' 22 and a desperate defensive effort led to a series of penalties being conceded. Saracens, perhaps lucky not to have picked up a yellow card, struggled to cope with the power of the Welsh pack and a drive from the back of the line-out gave Tomas Baldwin his second try of the season. Rhys Tudur Davies' conversion rolled the scoreboard on to 21-0.
Tries number four and five followed in quick succession. A break by Tyron Pelasio took Welsh back into their oppositions' half and, under pressure from the Welsh attack, Saracens took the ball back over their own line and conceded the 5m scrum. Number 8 Tyron Pelasio picked up to score the bonus point try and Rhys Tudur Davies maintained his 100% accuracy with the boot. Ben Francis added the fifth try on the stroke of half time and another Rhys Tudur Davies conversion gave London Welsh a 35-0 lead at the break.
Half time: London Welsh 35 Saracens 0
The Welsh catch and drive proved as effective at ODP as it had done at Southgate earlier in the season and this time Sam Canning-Birtles was the beneficiary scoring his first league try for the club. Rhys Tudur Davies' accurate kick added a further two points.
A break down the line by Jonathan Shankland made good ground but when Saracen's defence closed out the space on the wing a deft inside pass put Simon Davies clear to score. The conversion drifted wide but Welsh had a very comfortable 47-0 lead with 55 minutes on the clock.
The London Welsh scrum provided the platform for the next successful attack and a series of quick passes along the 5m line stretched the Saracens' defence created room for Rory Noble to break through for the final try. The conversion was missed but Welsh had done more than enough to win this game and, thanks to results elsewhere, open up a 12 point gap at the top of the table.
Full time: London Welsh 52 Saracens 0
Man of the Match: Gareth Morgan