Saracens boss Mark McCall praised his improving side after they stormed to a bonus-point 34-13 victory over Exeter Chiefs in a repeat of last season’s Premiership final on Sunday.
Two tries by wing Sean Maitland and further scores from young fly-half Alex Lozowski, flanker Jackson Wray and replacement Ben Spencer continued the champions’ flawless start to their title defence.
England centre Henry Slade, playing at No10, kept Exeter in the contest with two first-half penalties and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie crossed after the break but could not prevent Chiefs suffering successive defeats.
“I thought it was a big step up from last week in terms of our energy, our intensity and our physicality right from the off,” said McCall.
“The first 20 minutes went as well as they could have. They came back and we had to show our fighting qualities, but once we got through that period 12-6 up it was a tall order for them to play into the breeze.”
Saracens seized the initiative with early tries from Lozowski and Maitland, who scored his second just before the hour.
Billy Vunipola’s run teed up Wray to grab the visitors’ fourth, and after Cowan-Dickie had responded for Exeter, Spencer snatched another in the last minute.
Full-back Alex Goode landed three conversions and a penalty.
“The truth is you can’t just be good against Saracens, you have to be very, very good,” said Exeter boss Rob Baxter, whose side face Harlequins next. “I thought today a lot of the time were were just good.”
Northampton earn first win
France No8 Louis Picamoles scored his first try for Northampton as the Saints beat Bristol 32-10 at Ashton Gate.
Wings George North and Ken Pisi added to Picamoles’ effort to give the visitors a commanding lead.
Hooker Ross McMillan’s try reduced the gap but replacement Mike Haywood sealed Northampton’s first win of the season.