Sarries run riot over Leeds

Saracens keep play-off hopes alive

Last Updated: 30/03/08 11:04pm

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Leonelli: Hat-trick

Leonelli: Hat-trick

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Saracens took full advantage of an injury-ravaged Leeds side to chalk up their biggest league win of the season and reignite their play-off hopes on Sunday.

With a Leeds side missing 12 players through injury Saracens were rampant, scoring ten tries courtesy of Nick Lloyd, Adam Powell, Hugh Vyvyan, Tom Ryder, Kameli Ratuvou, Glen Jackson and Brent Russell, plus a 15 minute first half hat-trick from Francisco Leonelli.

The hosts opened the scoring after six minutes, loose-head prop Lloyd crashing over from a powerful rolling maul.

And, after Leeds full-back Leigh Hinton hit the posts with a penalty attempt, Saracens began to turn the screws.

Fly-half Jackson set up Leonelli for his first, skipping through an almost non-existent Leeds defence to release the Argentinian international, with Powell adding a delightful try soon after.

His second came after flanker Kris Chesney's lofted pass found Brent Russell in space on the right, who duly put Leonelli in for a simple score in the corner.

Boost

Eight minutes before half-time Leonelli touched down his third and Jackson added the extras to give the hosts a 33-0 lead going into the break.

It was much of the same in the second half, Vyvyan collecting a Ratuvou grubber on the left and crossing soon after the restart and replacement second row Ryder crashing over as Leeds went into complete meltdown.

Ratuvou collected Sarries' eighth, the Fijian winger sprinting in from the halfway line and Jackson adding the extra points.

Then it was the Kiwi kicker's turn to score after collecting a pass from replacement Andy Farrell.

Consolation

Ironically, Leeds had to rely on former Saracen Stuart Hooper to give them their only consolation of the afternoon, scoring the visitors' only try after picking up a wayward pass from Jackson.

James Brooks converted but the hosts were not finished and Russell completed the perfect 10 to give Sarries a massive boost ahead of their Heineken Cup quarter-final against the Ospreys at Vicarage Road next week.

Leeds on the other hand lie 14 points adrift and must now consider relegation from the Guinness Premiership almost inevitable.

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