Saracens down Exeter to top Premiership

Chris Wyles scored a try on his 200th cap

Saracens moved back to the top of the Aviva Premiership standings by beating Exeter Chiefs 36-18 at Allianz Park.

Saracens outscored the former Premiership leaders by five tries to two in the match.

Tries from Alex Goode and Billy Vunipola gave Sarries a 12-point buffer, but two Gareth Steenson penalties reduced that deficit to 12-6 at the interval.

However, the hosts dominated the second period and touched down three more times through Owen Farrell, Jackson Wray and Chris Wyles.

Thomas Waldrom did continue his impressive scoring record by crossing the whitewash twice for the Chiefs, but they were outplayed by the London-based side.

Rob Baxter’s men have had an excellent campaign, but they endured a difficult first half which saw them struggle to compete with the physicality of the defending English champions.

The visitors played with the wind behind them in the first half but struggled to gain foothold on proceedings. Instead, Saracens, who could name their England players in the starting line-up for the first time in eight weeks, looked threatening in difficult conditions.

Mark McCall’s team deserved the 12-0 lead they acquired in the opening half-hour. Goode went over for the first try, as the full-back benefited from excellent work by Duncan Taylor and Maro Itoje, before Vunipola barged his way across the whitewash.

Exeter did manage to muster a response just shy of the break via the boot of Steenson, who kicked a pair of three-pointers, but Sarries were in control at half-time.

They continued in the same vein after the interval and stretched their advantage via a brilliant try, finished off by Farrell.

The Chiefs gave themselves hope when Waldrom went over but another superb attack, which went through several pairs of hands, allowed Wray to touch down for the bonus-point.

Farrell then kicked a penalty before Wyles crossed the line to complete a fine win, although the visitors had the final word through Waldrom’s second score.

Final Score Saracens 36 (12) Exeter Chiefs 18 (6)

Scorers

Saracens
Tries – Goode, B Vunipola, Farrell, Wray, Wyles
Pen – Farrell
Con – Farrell (3), Goode
Drop –

Exeter Chiefs
Tries – Waldrom (2)
Pen –
Steenson (2)
Con – Hooley
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Matthew Carley (42nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell & Paul Dix.
TMO: David Grashoff

Teams

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Duncan Taylor , 13 Marcelo Bosch , 12 Brad Barritt (c) , 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Owen Farrell , 9 Richard Wigglesworth , 1 Mako Vunipola , 2 Schalk Brits , 3 Petrus Du Plessis , 4 George Kruis , 5 Maro Itoje , 6 Jackson Wray , 7 Will Fraser , 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements : 16 Jared Saunders , 17 Richard Barrington , 18 Titi Lamositele , 19 Alistair Hargreaves , 20 Kelly Brown , 21 Neil De Kock , 22 Nick Tompkins , 23 Mike Ellery

Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman , 14 Olly Woodburn , 13 Henry Slade , 12 Ian Whitten , 11 Lachie Turner , 10 Gareth Steenson (capt) , 9 Dave Lewis , 1 Alec Hepburn , 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie , 3 Harry Williams , 4 Geoff Parling , 5 Damian Welch , 6 Dave Ewers , 7 Julian Salvi , 8 Thomas Waldrom

Replacements : 16 Elvis Taione , 17 Ben Moon , 18 Moray Low , 19 Ollie Atkins , 20 Kai Horstmann , 21 Will Chudley , 22 Will Hooley , 23 Max Bodilly

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