Premiership: Saracens 35-3 Worcester Warriors

Alex Lozowski
Fly-half Alex Lozowski, standing in for the injured Owen Farrell, scored a try on his Saracens debut
Premiership
Saracens (6) 35
Tries: George, Lozowski, Burger, Spencer Cons: Lozowski 3 Pens: Lozowski 3
Worcester Warriors (3) 3
Pen: Lamb

Saracens began the defence of their Premiership title with victory over Worcester Warriors at Twickenham.

Sarries are bidding to become the first team to win three successive domestic crowns since 2005, but were well short of their fluent best against Warriors.

The hosts led 6-3 after an unconvincing first half in the London Double Header.

Saracens pulled clear after the break, with Jamie George, Alex Lozowski, debutant Schalk Burger and Ben Spencer all crossing for the bonus point.

Director of rugby Mark McCall will be encouraged by his side's second-half showing, but will also be keen to welcome back England fly-half Owen Farrell, who missed the game with a back injury.

His replacement Lozowski, though impressive with ball in hand, missed three routine kicks from the tee as Saracens failed to convert their possession and territory into more points.

Opponents Worcester, led by head coach Carl Hogg for the first time following Dean Ryan's summer departure, produced a spirited defensive display and may even have pushed Sarries closer but for a 12-minute collapse shortly after half-time.

George, Lozowski and South Africa's World Cup-winning flanker Burger all crossed in quick succession to put the home side in complete control with more than half an hour still left to play.

Saracens had to wait until the 77th minute for the bonus-point-securing try - a superb, jinking solo score from replacement scrum-half Spencer.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall: "Overall, I am probably not happy with that. I am happy we got five points and happy to get the win.

"It was a hugely rusty performance but we defended very well. Give Worcester credit for the way they played in that first half. They were really physical and they made life difficult for us at the breakdown.

"But I was pretty calm at half-time and I thought we were ruthless in that 15 minutes of the second half and that set us up to get the win."

Worcester head coach Carl Hogg: "There was a huge amount of character and effort in that first half given the amount of possession and territory that Saracens had.

"It was an even contest in that first half but the amount of effort took its toll in the second.

"It is a disappointment. We talked [at half-time] about trying to get a foothold in the game, but they are at the top end of Europe and they squeeze teams in."

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Bosch, Barritt (capt), Maitland; Lozowski, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, George, Du Plessis, Itoje, Kruis, Wray, Burger, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Brits, Barrington, Figallo, Hamilton, Rhodes, Spencer, Taylor, Ellery.

Worcester: Willison; Hammond, Olivier, Te'o, Vuna; Lamb, Arr; Rapava Ruskin, Annett, Schonert, Cavubati, Barry, Dowson, Mama, van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Bregvadze, Leleimalefaga, Johnston, Scotland-Williamson, Faosiliva, Baldwin, Heathcote, Humphreys.

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