Sunday, September 26News That Matters

Saracens 54-13 Bedford: Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola score as Sarries cruise to eight-try victory

Owen Farrell should be ready to return for the most important fortnight in Saracens’ season in the second-tier with key games in their promotion fight looming.

The England captain picked up a calf strain and missed Sarries’ routine win over Bedford Blues, in which they scored eight tries including two each for Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola making Championship debuts.

But boss Mark McCall is confident Farrell’s injury is not serious.

Saracens cruised to an emphatic 54-13 Championship victory over Bedford Blues on Sunday

Saracens cruised to an emphatic 54-13 Championship victory over Bedford Blues on Sunday

Saracens cruised to an emphatic 54-13 Championship victory over Bedford Blues on Sunday 

Maro Itoje (pictured) and Billy Vunipola were among the try scorers in eight-try victory

Maro Itoje (pictured) and Billy Vunipola were among the try scorers in eight-try victory

Maro Itoje (pictured) and Billy Vunipola were among the try scorers in eight-try victory 

‘Hopefully he’ll be fit next week, if not the week after,’ said the Saracens director of rugby.

‘It’s his calf. It’s really minor.’

Sarries face the two top teams in Championship in the coming fortnight with Doncaster Knights away next and then Ealing Trailfinders after that.

Neither of those have lost yet and Saracens cannot afford to slip up or their dream of promotion back to the Premiership, having been relegated due to salary cap breaches, could be in serious jeopardy.

‘We need to win the next game,’ added McCall.

‘Doncaster are unbeaten in the competition – so it’s a game we have to win – and then the next week Ealing is exactly the same against a team who are absolutely flying in the league and have been together all season.

Sarries are now third in the Championship with six regular season matches left of the season

Sarries are now third in the Championship with six regular season matches left of the season

Sarries are now third in the Championship with six regular season matches left of the season

‘We need to be get better quickly but I’m sure we will.’

At home against Bedford fly-half Manu Vunipola kicked 12 points, converting six of the eight tries. Itoje had two, one from a close-range pick-and-go, the other a charge down he leapt on to score.

Billy Vunipola also took a double, powerfully bashing over on the right for his first and capitalising on a spilt ball after Saracens smashed Bedford’s scrum to pieces near their opponents goal-line.

Scores from Aled Davies – assisted by Itoje – Andy Christie, Janco Venter and a penalty try were enough for an easy victory. Bedford scored once through wing Pat Tapley, which Will Maisey converted, after two Tommy Matthews penalties.

On his England men returning McCall said: ‘They were all good today and it’s good to have them back.’

Sarries are now third in the Championship, which ends in a two-legged playoff final, with six regular season matches left.