2019 Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Cup champions Saracens have been beaten for the second time in recent weeks by Ealing in the Trailfinders Cup, this time going down 39-26 at home at the Stonex Stadium.
The north-west London club, automatically relegated from the Premiership for repeated salary cap breaches, were beaten 27-26 at Vallis Way when the sides first met on January 16.
That was a match in which Billy Vunipola started for Saracens in front of England coach Eddie Jones. Three weeks, later, with England busy on Guinness Six Nations duty against Scotland, Ealing enjoyed a more generous margin of victory.
Dom Morris scored a pair of tries in the opening 16 minutes to give Saracens a promising start but Ealing eventually settled and they fought back to lead 15-12 at the break following tries from Rayn Smith and Will Davis.
Saracens regained the lead soon after the restart, Rotimi Segun scoring, but Ealing then retook the initiative with tries on 51 and 64 minutes from Dean Hammond and Pat Howard. A Shaun Malton try on 76 minutes then confirmed the win before Saracens struck for a consolation score through Kapeli Pifeleti.
How we all feel right now ? pic.twitter.com/HzQK66Zx7r
— Ealing Trailfinders (@ealingtfrugby) February 6, 2021
It was Saracens’ third loss in the tournament as they also had to concede their away match with Doncaster through not being able to field a team, and they will now look to pick up the pieces when they host the Knights in London next weekend. The three-team tournament is serving as a pre-season warm-up for the Championship season which is due to start next month.
Saracens are favourites to win promotion to the 2021/22 Premiership but the build-up to the second-tier league has been affected by concerns that not all twelve Championship clubs will participate in a tournament supposed to be made up of two conferences of six teams each.
'Ever since then the club backed me and I backed the club. Loyalty swings both ways.'
2 try @ealingtfrugby hero Alun Walker was thrust into the rugby limelight after his performance against Sarries & rumours soon followed for the Scot.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 24, 2021
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