Search

David Strettle scores on 100th appearance as Saracens sink Bath

22:13 28 February 2014

Chris Wyles (right) of Saracens celebrates with team-mates Jacques Burger and David Strettle after scoring the first try against Bath. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Chris Wyles (right) of Saracens celebrates with team-mates Jacques Burger and David Strettle after scoring the first try against Bath. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

Premiership: Bath 10 Saracens 23

Saracens all but ended Bath’s ambitions of a top-two finish in the Aviva Premiership with a ruthless examination of the third-placed side’s credentials.

Sarries were the last side to win a league match at the Recreation Ground - a similarly conclusive 22-0 victory in December 2012 - and the visitors seldom looked under pressure here in winning 23-10.

Flanker Jacques Burger was at his destructive best in the loose, until he was sin-binned for one illegal tackle too many, while Alex Goode stepped up at short notice to control the game at fly-half.

Goode landed two penalties, two conversions and a drop-goal in a near faultless performance after Charlie Hodgson pulled out during the warm-up, feeling unwell.

Bath had won 12 home matches and were unbeaten home or away in all competitions since the New Year - but starved of any useful possession for long periods, there was precious little time or space for their backs to shine.

After a frenetic opening, with both sides spreading the ball wide, Saracens conceded two penalties in quick succession but escaped punishment.

George Ford kicked a 19th minute goal from short range but the lead was short-lived as Bath conceded a line-out from the restart and when Paul James was penalised at the maul, Goode landed an equalising penalty.

Back came Bath and Peter Stringer thought he had scored from a quickly taken line-out by Matt Banahan but the TMO ruled the throw had been forward.

Saracens grabbed the first try on 31 minutes as Goode created an opening for Tomkins and Duncan Taylor to set Chris Wyles free on the left for a try which Goode converted.

Bath’s poise again deserted them when they lost possession in the Saracens 22. Taylor hacked on, Ollie Devoto fumbled and Brad Barritt kicked across field for David Strettle to mark his 100th appearance with a simple try. Goode’s conversion sent his side in at the break with a 17-3 lead.

Bath brought on a specialist openside in Guy Mercer for Alafoti Fa’osiliva in an effort to even up the breakdown contest but then lost Stringer to an illegal tackle on Burger.

Banahan was forced into touch at the corner but Bath lacked a cutting edge against the uncompromising Saracens defence and Goode stretched the lead to 20-3 with a drop-goal on 56 minutes.

After Burger was shown the yellow card in the 66th minute for a high tackle on Anthony Watson, Bath battled their way over the line but without convincing the officials Leroy Houston had managed to touch down.

Eventually however their scrum earned a 72nd minute penalty try and Ford chipped over the conversion.

Instead of then going back upfield in search of at least a losing bonus point, Bath conceded another penalty to Goode.

With two minutes remaining Wyles became the second Saracens player to see a yellow card for an illegal tackle when he barged replacement wing Semesa Rokoduguni into touch - but by then the match had been decided.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Petr Cech of Arsenal looks on (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger believes goalkeeper Petr Cech could still play at the top level for six years with Arsenal.

05:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is keen to preserve the stability and consistency within his squad this summer.

Thu, 12:03
Dawid Malan inT20 action for Middlesex against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan feels the county’s Twenty20 fortunes would improve if the tournament were streamlined over a shorter period of time.

Thu, 07:00
Hornsey's Chetan Patel (pictured) shared a 50-run partnership with Paul Weekes. Pic: Max Flego

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes his side are back in the promotion race after crushing Brentham by 114 runs for their second successive win in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder