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Jim Neilly
reports from Vicarage Road
 real 14k

Saracens captain Kyran Bracken:
"We knew they were going to come out fighting"
 real 14k

BBC NI's Stephen Watson
talks to Thomas Castaignede and David Humphreys
 real 56k

Sunday, 15 October, 2000, 15:40 GMT
Saracens too strong for Ulster
Thomas Castaignede
Thomas Castaignede breaks through the Ulster defence
Saracens 55 Ulster 25

The power and class of Zurich Premiership leaders Saracens told in the end as they came from 19-11 down to win with something to spare at Vicarage Road.

Ulster skipper David Humphreys scored 20 points in a faultless kicking performance but the flagging Irish side just could not keep in touch as Saracens moved up a gear to score four tries in the final quarter.

Saracens are top of Pool Three having won both their matches. Then come Ulster and Cardiff who have both won one and lost one.

Ulster were 12-11 up at half-time thanks to four Humphreys penalties.

Paddy Johns
Paddy Johns wins a line-out against Saracens

Thomas Castaignede scored an eighth minute penalty and then England stalwart Richard Hill landed a try in the 36th minute which Castaignede converted.

Ulster scored their only try early in the second half to go into an encouraging 19-11 lead.

Dunedin-born Shane Stewart, in for the injured Jonathan Bell, went in under the posts after taking a pass from Humphreys who added the conversion.

Carbon copy

Saracens hit back almost immediately with Hill going over for a try which was a carbon copy of his first half score.

Danny Grewcock won the line-out ball and the Saracens pack powered forward with Hill touching down. Castaignede converted to leave it 19-18 for Ulster.

Ryan Constable and Derek Topping challenge Tony Diprose
Ryan Constable and Derek Topping challenge Tony Diprose

Humphreys and Castaignede twice exhanged penalties before Saracens took command with their third try of the afternoon.

Castaignede sparked one of the best moves of the match and it ended with former rugby league star Duncan McRae going over close to the posts.

Castaignede added the two points to leave the Zurich Premiership leaders 31-25 ahead and the Frenchman sent a 64th minute penalty in off a post to give them a little bit of breathing space.

Sarries' tails were now up and England international Dan Luger again proved his class as he scored a hat-trick of tries in the last 15 minutes of he game.

Disappointed Ulster skipper Humphreys said: "We are going to have to look at why we fell behind so badly in the last 20 minutes.

"In the second half you saw why Saracens are top of their league and one of the favourites for the European Cup."

Saracens: Castaignede, O'Mahony, Johnston, Sorrell, Luger, McRae, Bracken, Flatman, Russell, Wallace, Davison, Grewcock, Chesney, Hill, Diprose. Replacements: Roques, Cairns, Roche, Phillips, Arasa, Walshe, Sparg.

Ulster: Henderson, J. Topping, Constable, Stewart, Howe, Humphreys, Free, Fitzpatrick, Weir, Best, Johns, Longwell, D. Topping, Ward, McWhirter. Replacements: S. Bell, Malone, Coulter, Boyd, Shields, Blair, McCarey.

Referee: C Giacomel (Italy).

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See also:

15 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Jonathan Bell misses Saracens game
13 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Ulster trio face old club
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