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Saracens boss Mark McCall compared man-of-the-match Max Malins to a young Beauden Barrett after the full-back helped the reigning Premiership champions swat aside Bristol Bears 47-13 with a devastating second-half display.
Malins scored twice from full-back as Saracens ran in six unanswered tries in response to a fast start from the Bears, who were kept scoreless for the entire second half, and their biggest win of the season sees the gap to Leicester Tigers cut to 17 points and potential Premiership safety. At this rate of scoring, Saracens will be off the bottom by the end of February.
Much of the Allianz Park landslide win came through Malins, who despite being required to continue in his role at full-back in the absence of the injured Liam Williams and Alex Goode belied his inexperience to steal the show. It was the 22-year-old who showcased his awareness on the stroke of half-time to ensure Saracens went in with the lead and he added a second soon after when Saracens were back to their rampaging best to trigger comparisons to the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year All Black.
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“He is an interesting player, he started life as a fly-half and came through school and England grade ages there and that was his preferred position,” director of rugby McCall said.
“He reminds me a little bit of a young Beauden Barrett who wants to play fly-half but played 15 in the early years for the Hurricanes and All Blacks. Max has got an acceleration that not too many have and the ability to make things happen really fast – like the try he scored. He can play 10 and 15 at a high level.
“That relationship that he has with Owen Farrell on the field is really encouraging too. He makes good decisions in the back-field and is a runner rather than a kicker.”
That Malins was thrust into the fire against Munster last weekend was all the more impressive given he has only been back in training for three weeks since breaking his foot in pre-season training three months ago.
But after a somewhat sluggish start, Saracens delivered something close to wha
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