Bath 17-71 Saracens: 10 tries for Londoners as Bath boss Hooper admits: ‘we were spectacularly poor’
Image: Simon King/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)
Eddie Jones watched Saracens rip Bath to shreds and was then told those players he had dropped must be recalled today.
Less than a month ago Jones axed Billy Vunipola, his brother Mako and club mate Jamie George and challenged them to prove him wrong.
At the Rec on Sunday he got his response as the trio combined to hand Bath the worst home Premiership beating in their proud history.
“Billy was unreal out there, Mako as well,” raved Saracens boss Mark McCall after a 10-try win which included two for Jamie George.
“They deserve to be in the squad after the way they played. Will I be surprised if they’re not? I’ll be amazed. Everybody would be.”
Jones names his autumn squad this afternoon and has a real concern over Lions hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, who suffered leg damage in Exeter’s win at Wasps.
He will also be worried about Anthony Watson (knee) and Maro Itoje (shoulder/pec), both forced off the field in front of him.
But the majority of what he witnessed will have had him purring on his way back up the M4.
The Vunipola brothers were everywhere in a performance which brought a hat-trick for England fullback Max Malins and tries for Itoje, Ben Earl, Eroni Mawi, Rotimi Segun and Dom Morris.
“If Eddie wanted to see if they had the motivation and desire to still play for England then they showed that,” said McCall.
“I thought Owen (Farrell) was brilliant as well. We’ve got players who can make things happen. It was a really top performance.”
McCall’s joy contrasted with the humiliation felt by Bath and their director of rugby Stuart Hooper after a beasting of nightmare proportions on Danny Cipriani’s home debut.
It was the most points the six-time champions had ever conceded, the third most conceded by any club in Premiership Rugby history.
A fourth consecutive league loss leaves them rock bottom, staring at their worst start to a season for 20 years and Hooper did not mince his words.
“It’s as bad as it gets and we must stand up and be counted,” he said. “That pain we feel right now, we need to feel it.
“Saracens were hot and we were spectacularly poor. We have to make sure that nothing like that happens again.”
Hooper admitted “there will be questions from everywhere about me, my players and my staff”.
He urged players and staff to stick together but he must know a result this bad has consequences.
The one-time kings of Europe failed to score a point in the first half despite twice the territory and significantly more possession.
Within half an hour they had equalled their worst ever margin of defeat. By the end they had sunk without trace.
BATH – Tries: De Glanville, Ellis, Muir. Con: Cipriani.
SARACENS – Tries: Itoje, Malins 3, George 2, Earl, Mawi, Segun, Morris. Cons: Farrell 9. Pen: Farrell.