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Owen Farrell returns as Saracens put big score on Doncaster Knights

By PA

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Owen Farrell returned to action for Saracens in their crushing 50-15 win at Greene King IPA Championship title rivals Doncaster Knights.

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England captain Farrell, making his first start for Saracens since they were relegated to the second tier, helped orchestrate an eight-try rout at Castle Park.

The fly-half missed Saracens’ shock opening-day defeat at Cornish Pirates last month and their following three bonus-point wins.

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His return – after concussion sustained in the Guinness Six Nations and a calf strain – coincided with another convincing display from Saracens, who had all six of their England stars back in the starting XV.

They fell behind to Doncaster fly-half Sam Olver’s early 40-yard penalty but responded through wing Alex Lewington’s 13th-minute try in the corner and never looked back.

Farrell helped extend Saracens’ lead to 10-3 eight minutes later when his slide-rule grubber kick was collected by Sean Maitland and the Scotland wing burst over.

Saracens full-back Elliott Obatoyinbo was held up over the line after he had cut inside at the end of another incisive move.

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But Maro Itoje muscled his way over to touch down and flanker Michael Rhodes followed up to score after the visitors had spun the ball one way and then the other for a bonus-point try out wide.

Farrell successfully converted Rhodes’ effort, having missed his first three attempts, to put Saracens 22-3 up at the interval.

Saracens wasted little time extending their lead at the start of the second period, with scrum-half Aled Davies twice darting over.

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Davies’ first came after Obatoyinbo had collected a long kick to set up another sweeping counter and the second followed Elliot Daly’s superb line-breaking run.

Farrell converted both to put Saracens 36-3 ahead before being replaced by Manu Vunipola and with a fourth straight bonus-point win in the bag, Davies, Itoje and Daly were withdrawn soon after.

Tom Woolstencroft dived over from close range for Saracens’ seventh try, converted by Vunipola, just after the hour.

Doncaster hit back as Saracens eased off the gas. Jack Davies and wing Jack Spittle both went over for converted tries, which were just reward for their side’s physical commitment to the encounter.

Another Saracens replacement, Tom Whiteley, won his kick and chase in the closing moments for the game’s final try, which Vunipola converted.

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Owen Farrell returns as Saracens put big score on Doncaster Knights

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