SARACENS saved their best performance of the year to dish out a second Saints hammering in six weeks.
The two-time European kings stuck 55 points on Northampton last month in the opening game of the Premiership season.
But Liam Williams scored two and barnstorming skipper Brad Barritt got another as they settled for eight to inflict their bitter rivals’ heaviest home defeat EVER.
Saracens memorably beat Toulon, mighty Munster in Dublin and French fancies Clermont in the final on their way to last May’s second successive Champions Cup triumph.
Yet boss Mark McCall insisted: “That definitely our best performance of the year.
“I am really pleased how we sustained the pressure for 80 minutes.
“This season, we’ve been good at times, average at others. But this was a big game, away from home in Europe, we gave a big performance.”
And the visitors had a bonus point in the bag before half-time as flanker Calum Clark grabbed their fourth try against his former club.
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Northampton’s agony was made even worse by losing Lions winger George North to a knee injury in the first half.
And England captain Dylan Hartley trudged off with 58 minutes knowing he had come a distant second to Red Rose rival Jamie George — with boss Eddie Jones watching in the stands.
Fly-half Stephen Myler booted an early penalty for Northampton but the Pool Two opener was carnage after that.
Williams’ double and a try by skipper Brad Barritt quickly opened a 19-point margin before Clark crossed to make it 29-6 at half-time.
Not quite as bad for Saints as the 41-3 deficit last time, but still not pretty for the home side.
USA star Chris Wyles created the first try for Williams, Owen Farrell converted and quickly added a penalty as Saints started to creak.
George Kruis won a 20th-minute lineout and George carried in the driving maul before skipper Brad Barritt touched down the second try, Farrell again adding the extras.
Maro Itoje, Alex Goode and Marcelo Bosch put together a brilliant move to carve out a second try for Williams on 29 minutes, the winger bouncing off two tackles and touching down in the corner.
Myler clawed back a second penalty after Farrell was penalised for a hefty tackle on Ben Foden.
But Clark, who left Saints for Saracens five months ago, finished off a second driving maul — seconds after Saints lock David Ribbans was sin-binned by French ref Pascal Gauzere for pulling down the first maul.
It took Saracens less than four minutes of the second half to score try No 5. A flowing move involving forwards and backs was finished in style by prop Vincent Koch, Farrell converting. Mako Vunipola, Alex Lozowski and Ben Spencer completed the try-fest in front of Saints’ stunned faithful.
Sub hooker Mikey Haywood did manage to score a try for Saints on 76 minutes — converted by Harry Mallinder — but it was long since irrelevant.
Shell-shocked Northampton boss Jim Mallinder admitted: “Sometimes you don’t see these things coming. I thought we had learned some lessons after Twickenham. Clearly we haven’t.
“We talked all week about being physical, about matching them, about strong set-piece. But we didn’t do it.
“We came second best to a team who haven’t lost in Europe for 2½ years.”
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