Saracens overwhelmed the Ospreys 44-3 but their first home match since the salary cap scandal broke was played amid a subdued atmosphere at Allianz Park.
It was a return to winning ways for the Champions Cup holders after they launched their defence with a frustrating defeat at Racing 92 and their performance was a vast improvement on the opener six days earlier.
Elliot Daly’ Saracens debut was full of creative devilry and the England full-back, playing his first match since the World Cup final on November 2, set-up two tries for lightning-fast wing Rotimi Segun.
Mako Vunipola and George Kruis also returned to action after helping Eddie Jones’ squad reach the Japan showpiece and the tight five trio made substantial contributions to a superb bonus-point victory.
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Saracens have now won two of their three matches since being docked 35 points in the Gallager Premiership and fined £5.36million for breaching salary cap regulations and this victory keeps them in the hunt for a European quarter-final.
Daly’s first meaningful act in a Saracens jersey was to land a long-range penalty that sailed well beyond the target and although Ospreys had made a solid start, they fell further behind when Manu Vunipola was also successful from the kicking tee. And another of Jones’ World Cup squad was among the points when Singleton was driven over from an attacking line-out.
'Saracens have become a toxic brand and only time can get them back to where they want to be'
– @chrisjonespress hears one sponsorship expert voice grave concern for the Saracens brand in the marketplace https://t.co/fUYy7BBLSV
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 19, 2019
James Hook landed a penalty for Ospreys to eat into the deficit but their response was short-lived as a scrum move continued by an instinctive volley from half-back Tom Whiteley found Daly who drew the last defender to send Segun screaming over.
‘Honesty, fight, work ethic, togetherness, a good place to work… those values and characteristics are coming to the fore again’
– Allen Clarke tells @heagneyl about his determination to turn @ospreys back into a success story https://t.co/3P0IUvGxl7
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 15, 2019
The outstanding Daly combined with Segun once against for the try that secured the bonus point as he slipped the ball out of the tackle for the jet-heeled wing to score in the right corner.
The Ospreys continued to wilt before Saracens’ power and when they were shoved backwards at a five-metre scrum they were breached for a fifth time with referee Mathieu Raynal awarding a penalty try.
And when waves of black shirts renewed the attack, it was replacement prop Richard Barrington who barrelled over to complete the rout.
– Press Association
WATCH: The Rugby Pod reacts to Saracens not appealing the 35-point deduction and fine for breaching Premiership Rugby salary cap regulations
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