Doncaster 15-50 Saracens Doncaster has historically acted as a convenient half-way house on the London from Edinburgh via The Great North Road. And if Saracens’ Lions hopefuls are to feature for the garlanded touring side in the Scottish capital against Japan on June 26 then, regardless of this week’s petty politicking, this rite of passage can be ticked off their list after a resounding, bonus-point win in South Yorkshire. In what was a glorious advert for English rugby’s second division, the national team’s captain Owen Farrell returned to make his first Saracens appearance since September last year and keep his side’s hopes of a swift return to the Premiership alive and well. The North Londonders arrived locked and loaded with as near to a first-choice team as they could muster. That kind of talent – Maro Itoje, Jamie George, the Vunipola brothers and Elliot Daly, among others – was always going to be too strong for Doncaster, whose squad wage bill is not dissimilar to Farrell’s individual earnings. But the Knights more than played their part in a fixture that was as ferocious as it was enjoyable. Doncaster can also sleep easy in the knowledge that, despite their inferiority on the scoreboard, their late, length-of-the-field score by wing Jack Spittle was the match’s outstanding try. Considering all that was at stake, in front of onlooking Lions coaches, Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy, there was never going to be any hint that Saracens would take the Yorkshire underdogs for granted. The visitors’ physicality was off the charts, with their defensive wolfpack repelling Doncaster’s early attacks with a chomp and a bite. Somewhat peculiarly for a team as metronomic as Saracens, however, was that their accuracy required some recalibration. Centre Nick Tompkins, on his return to the club, dropped the kick-off; No 8 Billy Vunipola misjudged a routine box kick before missing an even more routine tackle; and the visitors’ lineout was clunky. It came as no surprise that fly-half Sam Olver – cousin of England flanker Tom Curry – was able to give Doncaster an early lead from the tee after Saracens were penalised for not rolling away.