Rugby Union

Alivereti Raka.

Alivereti Raka produces a moment of magic as Clermont humiliate Saracens

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Defending champions Saracens were handed a record home European defeat by Clermont Auvergne in their rearranged game on Monday.

Winger Alivereti Raka scored a hat-trick and was above everyone on the night. With 168 metres made, nine defenders beaten, and three tries scored, the Fijian was too hot for Saracens to handle.

After the break, when Saracens were trying to get back in the game, Raka produced the moment of the match to kill off any drama.

Receiving the ball with apparently little on, he proceeded to beat four men on a stunning 60-metre run before finding Van der Merwe with a superb pass for Clermont's fourth try.

See the incredible run further down this article.

Given Saracens' status at the start of the season as the best side in Europe, losing to Clermont comes as a surprise for many.

Saracens were without injured England forward duo Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola - Itoje suffering from a broken jaw, while Vunipola recovering from a knee injury.

Clermont's Damian Penaud - the 21-year-old son of former France international Alain - made the initial break for the first try before Fofana attracted three defenders and executed a simple scissors for Raka to shrug off a tackle and race over.

For the second try, it was Fofana who made the first incision, and when the ball came left, Raka again showed his power to finish from close range.

Saracens v ASM Clermont Auvergne - Champions Cup

And, the Fijian winger had a 25-minute hat-trick when Parra was sent through a gap at the base of a line-out and dummied Alex Goode before sending Raka striding over.

Parra converted all three and Saracens - chasing a third straight European crown - were facing humiliation.

A 14-46 defeat to Clermont extends Saracens' negative record run to six consecutive defeats.

The match was called off on Sunday for health and safety reasons following several inches of snow in north London.

Mark McCall, Saracens' director of rugby, insisted the postponement of the game was not to blame for his side's performance.

"We felt good as a group before the game, so the postponement wasn't really relevant," he admitted.

Topics:
England Rugby
Saracens
France Rugby
Clermont Auvergne
Rugby Union

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