Saracens beat Bath to top Premiership again

Saracens went back to the top of the Aviva Premiership standings when they beat Bath 10-23 at the Rec on Friday.

First-half tries from Chris Wyles and Strettle, as well as a fabulous kicking
performance from Alex Goode, was enough for a comfortable win.

Defeat for Bath means that their place in the top four is not yet secure, as
they failed to trouble Sarries enough to threaten an upset.

Bath started slowly, struggling at times to deal with the power that Saracens
possessed, but rallied to take the lead through the boot of the impressive George
Ford.

Goode was on hand to level though, showing that whatever his fellow compatriot
could do, he could do just as well. The game finally came to life ten minutes
before the interval. Joel Tomkins’ impressive offload was juggled by Chris Wyles,
who eventually got control of the ball for the first try of the contest.

That score rattled Bath, who were unable to prevent a second for Mark McCall’s
men just a few minutes later.

Matt Banahan failed to fall on the ball in his own 22, presenting the ball
to Brad Barritt, who sent through a sensational grubber kick to Strettle, who
raced over the line to give his side a 17-3 half time lead.

Goode’s drop goal finally stretched the visitors’ lead to 17, with Bath running
out of time to launch a comeback.

Saracens were holding on with 14 men after Jacques Burger was sent to the bin.
With nine minutes left on the clock, the pressure finally told as the referee
awarded a penalty try.

Ford’s conversion gave the home side hope, though that hope looked all but
gone moments later.

Goode kept his nerve to send over a penalty, meaning Northampton will have
to find a win over Gloucester on Saturday to move back to the summit.

Final Score Bath 10 (3) Saracens 23 (17)

Scorers

Bath
Tries – Penalty
Pen -Ford
Con – Ford
Drop –

Saracens
Tries – Wyles, Strettle
Pen – Goode (2)
Con – Goode (2)
Drop – Goode

Match Officials
Referee
: Luke Pearce (22nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton and Paul Dix.
TMO: David Grashoff.

Teams

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Paul James.

Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Micky Young, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 James Johnston, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Marcelo Bosch

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