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Sunday, 1 September, 2002, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Saracens sink Bristol
Thomas Castaignede celebrates scoring the first try for Saracens
Castaignede put Saracens on their way to victory
Bristol 30-45 Saracens

Wayne Shelford made a dream start to his Saracens coaching reign as Bristol suffered an emphatic home defeat in the Memorial Stadium sunshine.

Shelford outwitted his fellow New Zealander, Bristol chief Peter Thornburn, with Saracens scoring five tries and also collecting a bonus point.

Debutant fly-half Andy Goode, signed during the summer from Leicester, contributed 20 points through a try, drop goal, two penalties and three conversions.


I am pleased with the win but not the performance - the error rate on basics let us down
Saracens coach Wayne Shelford

Thomas Castaignede was making his first Premiership start in almost two years following serious injury.

And the Frenchman took only seven minutes to mark his return with an impressively worked try.

Bristol were always on the back foot after that.

Winger Darragh O'Mahony added two second-half touchdowns - the latter following a slashing Tim Horan break - while centre Tom Shanklin also breached Bristol's defensive cover after Goode ghosted clear.

Castaignede slotted a late conversion and penalty when he took over kicking duties from Goode.

Bristol's Alex Brown and Ben Sturnham tackle Kyran Bracken
Saracens produced a dominant display
Bristol grabbed consolation tries by David Rees and Felipe Contepomi but they finished comfortably second best.

Fly-half Shane Drahm kicked 17 points and Contepomi also dropped a goal, yet Saracens prevailed despite seeing wing Ben Johnston and lock Craig Yandell sin-binned at the end of each half.

They also had flanker Tony Roques stretchered off five minutes before the break with a badly gashed thigh.

Not even the announcement that Bristol had signed All Black Daryl Gibson from Canterbury could cheer the disappointed and frustrated home supporters.

Saracens took just four minutes to open their account, Goode slotting a 38-metre penalty.


Perhaps we were over-confident out there - it turned into a comedy of errors
Bristol coach Peter Thorburn

Castaignede then rounded off a flowing move that had its origins from a missed tackle by Bristol full-back Lee Best.

Although Drahm kicked a penalty on 10 minutes, Saracens quickly extended their lead when Goode rounded off a 70-metre move and added the conversion.

Drahm landed three further penalties and Contepomi dropped his goal but Saracens were still in charge with a 21-15 interval lead.

Just 46 seconds after the restart Saracens made the game safe as Goode eased clear of Bristol defenders to send Shanklin sprinting over unopposed.

The scoring action continued in fast and furious fashion, Drahm kicking another penalty and O'Mahony registering his try double.

Bristol still finished with a flourish as Rees and Contepomi touched down either side of a Castaignede penalty but their rally came far too late.


Bristol: Best, Daniel, Rees, Shaw, Christophers, Drahm, Pichot, Crompton, Nelson, White, Archer, A. Brown, Sturnham, Lipman, Beattie. Replacements: Sheridan, E. Bergamaschi, Roland, Contepomi, Richards, Salter, Carrington.

Saracens: Castaignede, Johnson, Shanklin, Sorrell, O'Mahony, Goode, Bracken, Flatman, Cairns, Marsters, Hooper, Yandell, Roques, Hill, Chesney. Replacements: Ross, Parkes, Quinnell, Russel, Williams, Horan, Winnan.

Referee: N Whitehouse (Welsh RFU).

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BBC Five Live's Alastair Hignell
"Bristol committed most of the mistakes"

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