LONDON-New recruit Sean Maitland scored two tries as champions Saracens won 34-13 at Exeter on Sunday to go top of the English Premiership after two matches of the season.

Saracens were the only team to win at Sandy Park last season and they repeated the trick with an impressive display. Aside from New Zealand-born Scotland international Maitland's score, Jackson Wray, Ben Spencer and Alex Lozowski also crossed for Saracens, with Alex Goode converting three tries and kicking a penalty.

"This was a big step up from last week," said Saracens boss Mark McCall, whose side crushed Worcester 35-3 in their opening game. "It was a very difficult wind to play into and I thought we controlled it beautifully. The first 20 minutes went as well as they could have done. They are a good side and came back into it in the second 20, but we showed our defensive quality."

Luke Cowan-Dickie scored Exeter's try, with Gareth Steenson converting, and Henry Slade kicked two penalties. The bonus-point victory propelled Saracens to the top of the fledgling standings, a point above Bath, while Exeter, last season's runners-up, are bottom.

"We paid for a slow start and conceded soft tries by missing easy tackles, which made it very difficult for us," said Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter. We lacked a bit of physical edge and you pay the price against a side like the Saracens."

In the day's other game, Northampton spoilt Bristol's Premiership welcome party with a comfortable 32-10 success at Ashton Gate. Following promotion last season, Bristol were playing their first top-flight fixture since 2009.

But they were well beaten, with wings George North and Ken Pisi and number eight Louis Picamoles all touching down.

Fly-half Stephen Myler kicked two penalties and two conversions before his replacement Mike Haywood secured a bonus point with a stoppage-time try that Harry Mallinder converted. "We needed to win today and in the first half we were very good," said Northampton boss Jim Mallinder. We needed to come here, shut the crowd up and in a way put massive doubt into Bristol's mind that they could play at this level. That was our intention."

Saints hooker Dylan Hartley, the England captain, went off at half-time, with Mallinder revealing he had a sore back. Bristol enjoyed a better second half, with Ross McMillan touching down and fly-half Tusi Pisi adding a conversion to an earlier penalty, but could not get back into the game.