Ealing edge out Saracens 27-26 in Trailfinders Challenge Cup

Billy Vunipola played all 80 minutes in the game
Billy Vunipola played all 80 minutes in the game

Ealing Trailfinders 27-26 Saracens

Ealing managed to hold off Saracens with a 27-26 win in the Trailfinders Challenge Cup on Saturday in what was Mark McCall's side first game since relegation from the Premiership.

Saracens rested most of their England contingents except Billy Vunipola, who played all 80 minutes in the game in front of England coach Eddie Jones. Sarries faced an automatic relegation for a series of salary cap breaches at the end of the last season and now will compete in the second tier Championship which has been suspended until 6th March due to the Covid-19 situation.

The opening five minutes saw Craig Willis scored a penalty for the Trailfinders before Will Hooley with a penalty kick of his own levelled the scores for Saracens.

The opening try in the game came in the 10th minute when a dummy from scrum-half Craig Hampson deceived Saracens' defence to send Angus Kernohan over the line but as the first quarter was about to end, Hooley with his second three pointer made the scoreline 10-6.

As the half-hour mark was approaching, both the fly-halves exchanged penalties to make the scoreline 13-9 before Saracens seized the lead before the break after a pass from Vunipola to Aled Davies allowed full-back Elliot Obatoyinbo to dot down.

Both the sides were desperate for points in the second half but they had to wait until the 56th minute when hooker Alun Walker forced his way over and Willis got the conversion making it 20-14 but the momentum once again swung towards McCall's side seven minutes later after front row Kapeli Pifeleti finished a line-out maul. Hooley's conversion though went wide.

The teams were separated by just one point as the final 10 minutes kicked-off but Saracens were reduced to 14 players in the last six minutes with Wainwright sin-binned and the hosts made use of the numerical advantage when Walker scored his second followed by Willis conversion which took Ealing's lead to 27-19 which proved just enough despite Sarries scoring a late try through Tom Woolstencroft followed by Hooley's conversion