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Saracens begin life in Championship with shock defeat to Cornish Pirates

Simon Collings
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Saracens kicked off life in the Championship with a shock defeat to Cornish Pirates.

The three-time European champions, who were relegated from the Premiership last season due to salary cap breaches, were stunned by the Pirates - who were worthy winners in the end.

Despite Saracens boasting World Cup winner Vincent Koch in their front row, the Pirates dominated in the pack to help them claim a famous 25-17 victory.

Luke Scully struck 10 of those points from the boot and was at the heart of his side’s play - but the whole Pirates side were heroes as they twice came from behind to win.

They rallied together superbly to stun Saracens, who have been given a huge wake-up call as to what life in the Championship will be like.

It had all started so well for the visitors too, who travelled to Cornwall with a side boasting the likes of Jackson Wray and Scotland wing Sean Maitland.

And indeed it was Maitland who put them ahead inside 10 minutes after Manu Vunipola’s pass sent him over.

You expected Saracens to kick on from there, but the Pirates more than held their own and took the lead.

Luke Scully slotted a penalty and then Tom Duncan powered over to score and put them 8-5 up after 30 minutes.

Pirates’ lead, however, proved to be short lived as six minutes before the break Alex Lewington scored to put Saracens back in front. Vunipola’s missed conversion, though, meant it was a two-point game going into the second-half.

It had proved to be a tight opening 40 minutes and after the break it was more of the same.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Pirates swiftly took the lead through Dan Frost, but then Saracens hit back courtesy of Tim Swinson.

Vunipola and Scully had both nailed their conversions too and the latter nudged over a penalty too, which put Pirates 18-17 up with 25 minutes to go.

Suddenly the Pirates were starting to believe and, even when Scully missed a penalty with 15 minutes to go, they did not lose hope.

And their faith paid off as five minutes before they end they wrapped up the victory as Rhodri Davies rounded off a superb counter attack.

Scully slotted the conversion and the only sadness for the Pirates is that there were no fans present to witness such a historic win.

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