By Ali Stokes
Following much criticism for their selection ahead of their trip to the home of the champions, Allianz Park, Todd Blackadder's charges jumped at the chance of a starting role with the likes of Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn, Henry Thomas, Dave Attwood, Sam Underhill, Taulupe Faletau, Zach Mercer and Jackson Willison all excluded from the starting XV or matchday 23.
Welsh international fly-half Rhys Priestland started the day's scoreboard proceedings with a penalty in the fourth minute after Saracens hooker Jamie George was penalised for not rolling away quickly enough for Thomas Foley's liking at the ruck.
It took longer than usual for Saracens to register their first points for the day, with right-wing Liam Williams putting the finishing touches on a perfectly choreographed set-piece move off the back of a scrum midway down the field.
The home side struck again three minutes after Williams' try, with fullback Alex Goode slicing clean through Bath's defence. A familiar sight on today's sunny London afternoon. Owen Farrell hits his first successful kick of the day for a 12-3 lead within the first quarter of an hour.
Aside from a porous defence, Bath, to their credit, kept pace with Saracens going forward, finding no shortage of successful attacking phases throughout the first 40.
However, the visitors will have found themselves cursing the errors forced from Saracens' typical defence, pressurising their prey in a hydraulic press- like manner pouncing on any hint of a structural friability.
Making up for his indiscretion that handed Priestland the chance to slot the three-point penalty in the opening five minutes, George crossed for Saracens' third score of the day on the 30-minute mark following an exceptionally well-organised maul for which coach Ian Peel took the plaudits from the home side's coaching box.
A piece of field position handed to Sarries following a knock-on at the base of the ruck from Bath scrum-half Chris Cook - an example of errors as a direct result of Sarries pressure - led to a scrum penalty.
A 60-metre Cook intercept try - that went some way to compensate for his error that led to his opponents' third score - permeated the regular, piercing breaks from Alex Goode. A score that kept Bath within touching distance of their folly despite the latter's impression of dominance.
Yet another Goode mini break saw substitute centre Nick Tompkins, who had replaced the injured captain Brad Barritt, cross for the bonus-point, weaving his way through the handful of Bath players betwixt himself and Bath's line.
Just when it seemed Saracens would finally distance themselves from their visitors for good, young Bath fullback Darren Atkins demonstrated a piece of exceptional individual work. After initially creating the linebreak out on the left wing, the 21-year-old drew his man and released fellow outside back Tom Homer for a score during the final action of the half.
With an impeccable conversion from the touchline, Priestland clawed his side to within six points, with a 26-20 scoreline as both groups enjoyed their half-time oranges and energy gels.
Mark McCall's men were straight back at it once they took to the field for the second time today, with American tighthead prop Titi Lamositele taking an intelligent and powerful running line to break free of Bath's defensive line out wide, sending the pass to Williams for his second score.
Once Farrell had duly converted Williams' score and kicked the restart, Bath's tighthead, Anthony Perenise, seemed to have felt Lamositele's break a personal challenge, returning in kind to charge through a sneaky pick and go over the top of Bath's ruck for a 20-metre effort. A bit of flair from the big men on the plastic surface today.
From here, the Saracens show truly kicked into gear. Aside from a well-picked intercept from Homer that saw the former London Irish man sprint 95 metres for a second score, the familiar pattern of a Bath turnover, scrum, penalty, kick to the corner and try presented a feeling of déjà vu for onlookers.
A third try for Williams - following midfield punches via fellow wing Sean Maitland and Billy Vunipola - preceded a score from Maitland himself two minutes after Homer's intercept and a final 77th-minute short range strike from substitute hooker Christopher Tolofua saw Saracens run in a substantial eight tries for the day, with Farrell taking his team to the half-century mark with his 79th minute conversion.
Despite the concession of a 50-point score, Bath's resilience with such a significantly rotated side has to be commended. Youngsters Atkins and centre Max Wright displayed perhaps the most rewarding performances for Blackadder and co, but the general 'never say die' attitude will offer some small comfort in the face of such a heavy defeat and costly turnover rate.
Saracens, it seems, are back to their usual tricks once more with nearly all their star players fit and fighting again. A blow, however, as captain Brad Barritt received the prognosis of a deep cut to his twice-fractured cheek.
A laceration reportedly deep enough to reach the steel plate inserted in the South African's face at the end of last season.
Tries: Williams (12, 42, 53) - Goode (15) - George (30) - Tompkins (38) - Maitland (67) - Tolofua (78)
Conversions: Farrell (16, 31, 39, 43, 79)
Tries: Cook (34) - Homer (41, 62)
Conversions: Priestland (35, 41) - Burns (63)
Penalties: Priestland (3, 27)