A youthful Saracens side were beaten 42-15 in Montpellier on Saturday in their opening pre-season fixture, with wingers David Strettle and Nathan Earle both scoring tries for the Men in Black.
Sarries made a promising start and in the 21st minute, they edged in front. Charlie Hodgson sent over a long range penalty just after Montpellier were penalised for being offside at the ruck.
Mark McCall’s side then built on their lead as Strettle crossed for the game’s first try.
The try came when the Men in Black were awarded a scrum on the half way line. Jackson Wray picked up from the base and pelted his way down field for almost 40 metres but then was eventually taken down.
Scrum-half Ben Spencer shone and showed great vision and accuracy when he found Strettle who raced onto the halfback’s well-weighted chip to score. Hodgson converted expertly from the sidelines and made it 10-0 to the visitors.
Montpellier scored their first of the night when the powerful Alex Tulou crashed over from a driving maul and tempers flared between the two sides as Saracens went into the dressing room with a 10-7 lead.
During the break, McCall made six changes. Captain Alistair Hargreaves and lock partner Mouritz Botha, No. 8 Jackson Wray, hooker Jamie George, try scorer David Strettle and fly-half Charlie Hodgson were replaced as Saracens gave their younger stars a chance.
Montpellier scored scored first after the restart and went on to dominate the rest of the second half.
Fabien Galthié’s side scored another three tries but it was one of the Saracens youngsters, England Under-20 Earle, who scored the try of the evening with a scorching 65th minute effort.
Earle received the ball from fellow Junior World Championship winner Henry Taylor on the halfway line and eased past two defenders and scored in the left hand corner.
Moments before the final whistle, Montpellier had the final word when Benoit Sicart crossed the line.