Elliot Daly hat-trick helps Saracens beat Lyon and progress in Champions Cup
Elliot Daly’s sublime first-half hat-trick sealed Saracens’ qualification to the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup with a 48-28 win over Lyon.
Saracens, without the suspended Owen Farrell, were at their ruthless best and secured their try bonus point after just 24 minutes when Daly notched his third try of the evening – just eight minutes after his first.
They could not quite match the same levels of intensity in the second half and, through an Ethan Dumortier double, Lyon secured their own bonus point to leave themselves with a small chance of qualification.
The French side appeared initially settled in a game they desperately needed to win in order to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages, but they quickly found themselves trailing when Lozowski picked out Fletcher Smith’s pass and sprinted away.
Just six minutes later and Daly scored the first of his tries for the evening, weaving inside and out before racing away and rounding a helpless Dumortier to give Saracens a 14-0 lead.
Tries three and four for Saracens came after 20 and 24 minutes respectively, with Daly finishing off a simple passing move for his second before a world-class finish in the same corner to seal his quickfire hat-trick.
Lyon had barely thrown a punch, but they did get themselves on the board through Josia Maraku’s well-taken try.
Saracens hit straight back though, with Italy prop Riccioni crossing for a fifth try before Christie scored a similar touchdown from close range to extend the lead to 31 points.
Dumortier ended the half with a try in the right corner for Lyon to give them a slim hope of getting back into the game, but Saracens’ dominance was there for all to see on the scoreboard.
Dumortier and Daly appeared to be in competition for which full-back could score the better try when breaking free and gathering his chip and chase to close the gap to 38-21 just three minutes into the second half.
Lyon had their tails up and after a moment of Fijian flair from Josua Tuisova with a wonderful offload out the back of the hand, Arno Botha secured Lyon’s bonus point and closed the gap to just 13 points with 24 minutes remaining.
The 2022 Challenge Cup winners kept coming but Saracens had an answer each time, with their defence ensuring victory was never really in doubt.
Finishing off yet another highly impressive European performance this season, Ben Earl bundled over from the back of a driving maul to ensure Saracens could celebrate safe passage to the next stage.
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