Daly hat-trick helps Saracens book last 16 spot
CHAMPION CUP REPORT: Saracens qualified for the Champions Cup Round of 16 as Elliot Daly’s stunning seven-minute hat-trick helped them thrash Lyon 48-28 at the StoneX Stadium on Saturday – their third successive Pool A victory.
Alex Lozowski, Marco Riccioni, Andrew Christie and Ben Earl also crossed for the three-time champions, with Alex Goode adding 13 points from the tee.
Lyon were well beaten in Barnet, but a took a bonus point back to France amid tries from Ethan Dumortier (2), Josiah Maraku and Arno Botha.
Lyon endured a poor start to the game as flank Dylan Cretin was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, with Saracens punishing the visitors as centre Lozowski intercepted and ran in from 70 metres.
The hosts notched another seconds before Cretin returned, Daly producing a stunning individual try as he dummied and weaved through the Lyon defence from inside his own half.
Daly was over again moments later as a strong fend allowed him to dart over in the corner, and he completed his hat-trick in style with 23 minutes on the clock as he finished acrobatically.
Cente Maraku gathered a loose ball and crossed in a brief reprieve for Lyon, but Saracens continued to turn the screw and crossed through prop Riccioni and flank Christie amid powerful play from their forwards.
Lyon ended the first half on a positive note as Dumortier dotted down, and fullback crossed again two minutes after the restart as he ran from inside his own half in a sublime individual effort.
Flyhalf Goode nudged a penalty on 53 minutes as Saracens look to stem the Lyon tide, but the TOP 14 outfit crossed for a fourth try moments later, a brilliant offload from wing Josua Tuisova allowing No.8 Botha to breeze over.
Saracens closed the game out over the remaining 24 minutes, and as Lyon’s hopes of an improbable turnaround faded, Tuisova was shown yellow for an illegal fend.
Saracens then ended the contest with a flourish, another driving maul causing havoc before flanker Early planted down for try number seven.
The final round of pool stage games next weekend sees Saracens visit Edinburgh on Sunday and Lyon host the Bulls on Friday.
Tries: Lozowski, Daly 3, Riccioni, Christie, Earl
Cons: Goode 5
Tries: Maraku, Dumortier 2, Botha
Cons: Smith 4
Yellow cards: Dylan Cretin (Lyon, 6′); Josua Tuisova (Lyon, 77′)
Saracens: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Max Malins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Ivan Van Zyl, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Andy Christie, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Jamie George (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Theo Dan, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Alex Lewington.
Lyon: 15 Ethan Dumortier, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Josiah Maraku, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Tavite Veredamu, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Jonathan Pélissié (captain), 8 Arno Botha, 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Temo Mayanavanua, 4 Joel Kpoku, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Guillaume Marchand, 1 Hamza Kaabèche.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Theo William, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Beka Saginadze, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Toby Arnold.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Alex Frasson (Italy) & Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)