Planet Rugby

Saracens show off new power

15th September 2007 21:15

Share:

Dan Scarbrough v Wasps

European champions Wasps suffered a World Cup backlash as they lost to London rivals Saracens in the second Guinness Premiership double-header match at Twickenham.

Denied the services of 10 international players on international duty, Wasps were always chasing the game.

They mounted a late rally but tries from lock Hugh Vyvyan, centre Adam Powell and scrum-half Neil de Kock ensured that Saracens avoided a third successive opening-day defeat by Wasps.

Former Scotland fly-half Gordon Ross, signed from French side Castres during the summer, marked his Premiership debut for Saracens with a 14-point haul, kicking four penalties and a conversion.

Youngsters James Haskell and Danny Cipriani, who narrowly missed out on World Cup selection when England coach Brian Ashton made the final cut to reduce his squad to 30, were the picks of the Wasps side.

Haskell, the 22-year-old No 8, battled manfully throughout while the main attacking threat for the Heineken Cup holders came from speedy 19-year-old full-back Cipriani who also contributed a 100% goal-kicking performance with five successes from five attempts.

Saracens capitalised on a shaky start by Wasps to open up a 16-9 half-time lead.

The wayward throwing of Wasps' new hooker James Buckland, signed from Leicester Tigers, allowed Sarries to steal the first two Wasps line-outs.

Prompted by Ross - the stand-in for last season's prolific points scorer Glen Jackson, out for three months with a broken collarbone - Saracens made their early pressure pay off, driving Vyvyan over for their opening try in the 17th minute and then creating the space for Powell to cross in the 28th.

Only a desperate last-ditch tackle by Haskell denied another Saracens newcomer, left-wing Francisco Leonelli, from Glasgow Warriors, another try.

Saracens even made light of the 10-minute absence of second-row man Tom Ryder, who was sent to the sin bin for scooping the ball out of a ruck.

Ross missed both first-half conversions but landed three penalties and only Cipriani's three-penalty reply kept Wasps in contention at the interval.

The only first-half danger from Wasps came when the young full-back produced a burst of genuine pace to outrun the Saracens cover as he arced down the left before passing inside to Tom Voyce but the visitors snuffed out the opportunity.

Wasps introduced experienced prop forward Tim Payne, whose hopes of a place in England's World Cup squad were wrecked by a knee injury which required reconstruction surgery, but they failed to turn the tide.

Their defence was badly exposed when De Kock celebrated his first league match as Saracens' new captain by taking the ball from the base of ruck and jinking through the almost non-existent cover for their third try four minutes into the second half.

Wasps' problems increased when they were temporarily reduced to 14 men after centre Fraser Waters was yellow-carded for blatantly handling the ball in a ruck in front of his own posts to present Ross with an easy penalty which stretched Saracens' lead to 14 points.

Ross struck again with a 61st minute penalty but Wasps were handed a glimmer of hope when Saracens prop Tom Mercey joined Waters in the sin-bin with 15 minutes to go.

Replacement hooker Joe Ward reduced the arrears, forcing his way over for a 67th-minute try, converted by Cipriani, but even though Wasps threw everything into attack Saracens held out for a deserved victory.

The scorers:

For Wasps:

Try: Ward

Con: Cipriani

Pens: Cipriani 4

For Saracens:

Tries: Vyvyan, Powell, De Kock

Con: Ross

Pens: Ross 4

Yellow cards: Waters (Wasps, 49), Mercey (Saracens, 65)

Wasps: 15 Danny Cipriani, 14 David Doherty, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Riki Flutey, 9 Mark McMillan, 8 James Haskell, 7 George Skivington, 6 John Hart (c), 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Richard Birkett, 3 Pat Barnard, 2 James Buckland, 1 Tom French.

Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Michael Holford, 19 Hugo Ellis, 20 Simon Amor, 21 Mark Van Gisbergen, 22 Chris Bishay.

Saracens: 15 Dan Scarbrough, 14 Rodd Penney, 13 Kevin Sorrell, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Francisco Leonelli, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Richard Hill, 6 Kris Chesney, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Nick Lloyd.

Replacements: 16 Andy Kyriacou, 17 Kevin Yates, 18 Iain Fullarton, 19 Dave Seymour, 20 Alan Dickens, 21 Edd Thrower, 22 Richard Haughton.

Referee: Sean Davey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821