Five things: Derby day win for Sarries as Ford shines for Tigers
Derby day victory for Saracens as domestic action continued, internationals returned and George Ford shined in five things we’ve learned.
Derby day delight
Yesterday the London bragging rights were up for grabs as Harlequins hosted Saracens at the Stoop.
In their 22-29 win over their rivals, Sarries showed their skill in controlling their opposition and restricting their opportunities across the match.
While Harlequins took those opportunities, they were drowned out by a gritty Saracens defence, reminiscent of their title-winning skillset.
Back in the Premiership, Saracens could be marching on towards the top of the table before the year is out.
All Black magic
The autumn internationals began this weekend with big wins for Scotland and Wales’s men and England’s women.
Scotland cruised to a 60-14 win over Tonga on Saturday with the home side walking in 10 tries against the South Sea Islanders
Glasgow Warriors’ Kyle Steyn scored four to became the first Scotland player to achieve the feat at Murrayfield.
New Zealand turned on their class as they toppled Wales 16-54 in Cardiff on Saturday. All Black fly-half Beauden Barrett overcame a potential yellow card offence to score twice and be named man of the match.
Yesterday, England’s Red Roses trounced world champions New Zealand 43-12. The Black Ferns haven’t played a Test match for two years but struggled to put in an 80 minute performance England.
The world champions play world No1 side England again next weekend in Northampton.
International rugby continues this month with the best sides competing with one another across Europe as part of the Autumn Nations Cup.
One of Eddie Jones’s biggest autumn squad omissions was George Ford, and on Saturday his masterclass for Leicester guided his side to a 26-55 win against east midlands derby day rivals Northampton Saints.
Ford pulled the strings at fly-half, in a match missing some key internationals on both sides, and remained composed throughout a match Tigers never seemed like losing.
In his performance, he showed a side to his game which could have seen him starting next week at Twickenham but Leicester may secretly be thankful of his England exclusion.
England head coach Eddie Jones last night called up Harlequins winger Louis Lynagh to his squad as well as Saints’ Alex Mitchell, who replaces injured Bristol No9 Harry Randall.
Worcester warri no more?
Having been winless since the opening round of the Premiership, Worcester Warriors broke their poor spell of form with a 27-14 win over Sale Sharks on Saturday.
The Warriors have clearly missed the presence of their captain Ted Hill because his return from injury seemingly inspired his side to victory.
As for Sale, it’s not quite clicking. They were on many people’s lips as title challengers pre-season but they’re faltering on some of the basics.
This season’s Premiership campaign really is tighter than it has been in previous seasons.
Bears back to best
Watching Bristol in their 33-45 win over London Irish in Brentford on Saturday was reminiscent of the style of play that took the Bears to the play-offs last season.
London Irish excited the crowd and participated in an end-to-end showpiece, but they couldn’t overcome more composed opponents.
Bristol are still 12th but in going back to their roots, it won’t be long until they’re climbing again.