Sarries end Wasps’ unbeaten home run

Date published: March 8 2015

Saracens ended Wasps' unbeaten run at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Sunday after securing a hard-fought 26-17 victory.

The win gives Saracens' top-four hopes a huge boost and they had to come from behind to clinch the win.

Dai Young's team took a 17-3 lead through Andy Goode's penalty and two superbly taken tries from Christian Wade and Elliot Daly.

However, Sarries hit back and were ahead at the break after Jackson Wray and Chris Wyles touched down and Alex Goode kicked two three-pointers.

The second half wasn't quite as lively but a pair of Goode penalties gave Saracens a deserved win and ended the Coventry-based outfit's unbeaten home league record.

Wasps went into the season looking to establish themselves in the top-six, but an excellent run of form, particularly at the Ricoh, has seen them become genuine play-off contenders.

And in an enthralling opening period, they showed exactly why. The two Goodes traded penalties early on to get the scoreboard rolling before the hosts' brilliance in the backs took over.

Firstly, Wade demonstrated why he should be in England contention by surging down the right-hand touchline, kicking ahead and finishing superbly before Daly went over following an outstanding solo run. That took the score to 17-3 but the visitors displayed their character and got back into the contest through Wray's try.

Alex Goode reduced the arrears further and Wyles then crossed the whitewash as Mark McCall's side went into the interval 20-17 in front.

Saracens had controlled the final 15 minutes of the first half but they found themselves down to 14 men early in the second period when Chris Ashton was sin-binned for a high-tackle.

It was an ideal opportunity for the hosts to mount some pressure but the London-based outfit remained stout in defence and actually won the yellow card period 3-0 as Goode extended their advantage.

Wasps were now struggling to cope with the visitors' physicality and Guy Thompson was sent from the field for 10 minutes after illegally disrupting a maul.

Sarries' fly-half duly kicked the resultant three-pointer to secure a crucial win.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Wade, Daly
Cons: Goode 2
Pen: Goode
Yellow card: Thompson

For Saracens:
Tries: Wray, Wyles
Con: Goode 2
Pens: Goode 4
Yellow card: Ashton

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 James Downey, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Matt Mullan (c).
Replacements: 16 Simon McIntyre, 17 Phil Swainston, 18 Kearnan Myall, 19 Ed Jackson, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Andrea Masi.

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, (c), 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Ernst Joubert, 20 Matt Hankin, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Tim Streather.

Referee: Matthew Carley