If a scoreline ever didn’t tell the full story it was this one. Six points versus 30 makes it sound like the whole 80 minutes were as one sided as the last ten but it wasn’t quite like that.
The first half was tight and the teams went in 6-6 but Saracens pulled away in the second-half. You could wag the finger at Saints for conceding unnecessary penalties but the Saracens machine was so good at exploiting them that it didn’t take many to make the advantage count.
Lozowski, Woolstencroft and Itoje crossed the whitewash for the visitors and their defence denied Saints the pleasure of scoring tries at home at a packed Franklin’s Gardens in the pouring rain.
It was heart breaking for Piers Francis to pick up an injury in only his second start for Saints this season. The bench was so stretched by the end of the game that the home side were reduced to 13 after an injury to Paul Hill.
Racing, Ulster, Quins and now Saracens have left Saints fans scratching around for things to celebrate over the festive season. It’s been an arm wrestle where across the games it felt like we were clawing our way back to something and then Sarries slammed it down in the second half.
We can attack, we can defend, we can set piece but can we do them all together enough to be dull and efficient? Boringly competent? Tediously effective? Would we want that anyway?