Planet Rugby

Saracens move clear at the top

03rd March 2013 16:08

Share:

Will Fraser of Saracens scores a try v London Welsh

Try for Saracens: Will Fraser

Saracens moved four points clear of Harlequins at the top of the Premiership standings on Sunday thanks to a 35-14 bonus-point win over London Welsh at Allianz Park.

But it was far from a convincing performance as the former champions were made to work very hard by relegation-threatened Welsh.

A penalty try and three Charlie Hodgson penalties gave Sarries a 16-11 half-time lead, with Welsh's response coming through debutant Seb Stegmann's touchdown and six points from the boot of Gavin Henson.

But scores from Joel Tomkins, Will Fraser and David Strettle took the hosts clear after the break.

With and RFU hearing looming for Exiles on Tuesday, the visitors looked distracted early on with Tyson Keats, the player at the centre of the eligibility storm, making the mistake for Sarries' first score.

The scrum-half's box-kick was charged down by Alistair Hargreaves and he conceded a penalty at the resultant ruck, which the home side's fly-half duly converted.

But to their credit, Welsh stuck to their task and restricted the hosts to another Hodgson three-pointer in the first quarter.

Welsh were rewarded for their endeavour, though, when Stegmann finished off a fine move to reduce the deficit to 6-5.

However, Phil Mackenzie was sin-binned for the visitors two minutes later and Mark McCall's men reasserted their authority.

A driving maul ended in a penalty try after Tom Bristow collapsed it. Bristow received a yellow card for the indiscretion, but the Exiles, down to 13-men, once again dug in.

Although Hodgson added a third penalty, two Henson three-pointers took the score to 16-11 at the interval.

Saracens upped the intensity in the second period and Tomkins powered over to extend the advantage to 23-11.

The visiting fly-half did eat into that lead, but Fraser's try - after an offload from - Schalk Brits effectively ended Welsh's resistance.

Strettle continued to push for an England recall by sealing a bonus point win for Saracens with jinking run to score late on.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Penalty try, Tomkins, Fraser, Strettle
Cons: Hodgson 3
Pens: Hodgson 3

For London Welsh:
Try: Stegmann
Pens: Henson 2
Drop: Henson
Yellow cards: MacKenzie; Bristow

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Short, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Ben Ransom.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Seb Jewell, 11 Seb Stegmann, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Julio Cabello Farias, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Jonathan Mills (c), 3 James Tideswell, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Billy Moss, 18 Paulica Ion, 19. Matt Corker, 20 Daniel Browne, 21 Alex Davies, 22 Gordon Ross, 23 Tom Voyce.

Venue: Allianz Park
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Andrew Watson
Television match official: David Grashoff

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
Friday , October 10
Leicester vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , October 11
London Welsh vs Newcastle14:30
Exeter vs London Irish15:00
Saracens vs Gloucester15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411