Bristol 0-39 Saracens: Alex Lozowski guides Sarries to comfortable victory
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 30/09/16 11:10pm
Alex Lozowski marked his England elite player squad call-up by scoring two tries as Saracens inflicted a fifth successive Aviva Premiership defeat of the season on Bristol.
The Saracens fly-half, who has impressed this season as deputy for an injured Owen Farrell, struck in each half to underpin a 39-0 bonus-point victory at Ashton Gate.
Lozowski's half-back partner Ben Spencer added two conversions and two penalties, while full-back Chris Wyles, hooker Jamie George and lock George Kruis also touched down and Lozowski also kicked two conversions less than 12 hours after being named in the EPS by England head coach Eddie Jones.
Although Saracens never hit top gear, their fourth win of the campaign saw them reclaim top spot from Wasps.
Bristol, as they had done in previous Ashton Gate outings this term against Northampton and Exeter, battled hard throughout the contest, but they remain four points adrift at the Premiership basement ahead of a testing trip to Newcastle next weekend.
Bristol showed three changes from the side beaten at home by Exeter last time out, with wing Charlie Amesbury, centre Jack Tovey and prop Anthony Perenise all starting, while England lock Kruis returned to action for Saracens after injury, but Farrell remained sidelined because of a back problem and Lozowski continued in the No 10 shirt.
Saracens, ruffled by a first defeat of the season against Harlequins six days ago, opted for an aerial bombardment in the early stages as Spencer repeatedly tested Bristol's defence.
The home side, though, showed no sign of being short on confidence, and they gave as good as they got until Saracens cut them open after 14 minutes when Lozowski darted over for a try that Spencer converted to hand the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Spencer then landed a penalty as Saracens exerted territorial control, and they were unlucky not to extend their lead when flanker Schalk Burger found skipper Brad Barritt with a briiliant pass, but Barritt was hauled down a metre out and Bristol cleared.
Bristol, having conceded 164 points in their first four Premiership games, were resilient in defence and frustrated Saracens through some impressive one-on-one tackling, before another Spencer penalty made it 13-0 just after half-time.
And before the home side could regroup, they conceded a soft try when replacement Adrian Jarvis saw his attempted clearance charged down by Lozowski, who applied a one-handed touchdown just before the ball rolled over the dead-ball line.
Spencer added the extras, and Bristol inevitably began to run out of steam, which was emphasised when Burger and his fellow flanker Jackson Wray linked impressively before Burger's pass sent Wyles sprinting over unopposed with 20 minutes left.
Lozowski effortlessly kicked the wide-angled conversion, and Bristol faced a testing final quarter as Saracens threatened to cut loose on the back of plentiful possession.
Bristol battled for a consolation score as Saracens boss Mark McCall rang the changes - Barritt and Maro Itoje were among those to go off - but the visitors soon resumed normal service as George powered over from close range after Bristol's substitute hooker Max Crumpton was sin-binned for a technical offence.
And there was still time for Kruis to complete an emphatic success when he crashed over to complete the game's final move, with Lozowski converting.