Following Bath Rugby’s comprehensive thrashing to Saracens at The Rec yesterday, Park Life Sport rugby correspondent Nathan Russell reflects on each Premiership side’s record defeat, and why each club’s fans would prefer to forget these particular games.
Bath – 71-17 to Saracens (October 2021)
What better way to kick off this list than Saracens drubbing of Bath yesterday? The newly promoted visitors were in control from the moment the whistle was blown, destroying Bath in the first half to head into the changing rooms with a 45-0 lead. Despite a spirited effort from the Blue, Black and Whites in the second half, they were no match for the Owen Farrell-led Saracens.
Bristol Bears – 76-0 to Sale Sharks (November 1997)
In what was a poor year for the eventually relegated Bristol, the Sale Sharks thrashing really was a low-light. The prolific Tom Beim and Shane Howarth led the way as Bristol struggled to respond to the onslaught of the Greater Manchester side at Heywood Road.
Exeter Chiefs – 55-12 to Sale Sharks (April 2014)
It was a tough day at home for the Chiefs back in April 2014 as they were handily defeated at Sandy Park by Sale Sharks. The visitors raced into a strong lead in the opening half hour with a quad of tries, before extending their lead further in the second half with another four. Carl Rimmer clawed back a consolation try in the closing minutes, but it was no match for the mighty Danny Cipriani-led Sharks.
Gloucester – 62-12 to Saracens (May 2018)
Mark McCall’s side once again demonstrated their ruthless nature last year as they dismantled the Cherry and Whites at the Allianz Park. Gloucester got off to a good start, going ahead twice thanks to tries from Tom Seabrook and David Halaifonua, but the defending champions ramped up the pace after the half time whistle, with a pair of late tries from scrum half Ben Spencer putting the side fifty points up and storming towards a play-off campaign.
Harlequins – 77-19 to Bath (April 2000)
While yesterday may not have been Bath’s best day at The Rec, the 29th of April 2000 is right up there. The Blue, Black and Whites thundered past Harlequins thanks to a brace from Iain Balshaw and reliability from the tee from Jon Preston. The side would use the momentum from this game to charge towards a play-off run.
Leicester Tigers – 54-7 to Wasps (September 2020)
It would not have been a happy bus ride back to Leicester for the Tigers, after being chastened by a rampaging Wasps early last season. Teenager Alfie Barbeary headlined the unanswered 54-point surge from the hosts with a 16-minute hat-trick. Leicester took the lead early, but were completely dealt with for what remained of the game. The momentum from this game helped kick off what would be a strong season for Wasps.
London Irish – 64-16 to Bath (March 2000)
Bath put nine past London Irish away from home in March 2000 as they strived towards a fantastic second place finish in the Premiership. Iain Balshaw and captain Ben Clarke grabbed a couple of tries each, while Jon Preston was steadfast as always with the boot.
Newcastle Falcons – 83-10 to Leicester Tigers (February 2005)
The Tigers absolutely mauled the Falcons in this mid-season fixture, as they put no less than 11 tries past the Northern side. Braces from Ollie Smith, Leon Lloyd and Neil Back stood out alongside a strong showing from the tee from Andy Goode, who continued his push for an England call-up by converting all 11 of his side’s five-pointers.
Northampton Saints – 63-13 to Saracens (April 2018)
The defending Premiership champions scored 48 unanswered second-half points in a thrashing over the Saints at Franklin Gardens. Despite a competitive first half, Saracens ran riot in the second by limiting the hosts to not a single point, while running in another seven tries to insure a comfortable trip back to Hendon.
Sale Sharks – 51-6 to Saracens (September 2000)
Saracens absolutely controlled Sale Sharks at Heywood Road in September of 2000, with eight tries to show for their efforts. Thomas Castaignede led the way for the North London side, with a brace alongside multiple kicks from the tee seeing him headline what was a wonderful performance for Saracens.
Saracens – 60-10 to Wasps (February 2020)
It was a rough season at times for the already relegated defending champions after exceeding the salary cap. The recent departure of Dai Young from Wasps had no effect on the Coventry side, as they put eight tries past the Saracens. Jimmy Gopperth led the way in points with 20 points from the tee, while braces from Zach Kibirige and Brad Shields headlined the side’s efforts on the day.
Wasps – 74-13 to Northampton Saints (May 2014)
The Saints booked their place in the play-offs with an eleven-try win over Wasps at Franklin Gardens in May of 2014. George North, Phil Dowson and Lee Dickson led the way as they prevented Wasps from scoring a solitary point after the 15-minute mark. The side would go on to win the Premiership title two weeks later.
Worcester Warriors – 62-5 to Saracens (January 2020)
Saracens are becoming a recurring theme of this list. They kicked off 2020 in style as they put ten tries past the Worcester Warriors at the Allianz Park. With the bonus point secured within half an hour, it was late call-up Rotimi Segun’s brace that headlined Mark McCall’s men’s victory, in what felt like another day at the office for the five-time Premiership champions.