Planet Rugby

Sarries deflate Warriors

10th February 2008 16:57

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Heineken Cup Saracens Glen Jackson

Three more: Jackson keeps Worcester at bay

Saracens continued their impressive recent form with a 19-6 victory over Worcester at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Fabio Ongaro's try ten minutes after the interval added to Glen Jackson's fourteen points with the boot proved sufficient as the hosts now move level on points with Bath, who were one of six teams not to play this weekend.

Without ever hitting top form in attack, Saracens showed enough to complete the double over the side that did the same to them last season.

Saracens, fourth in the Guinness Premiership and through to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and EDF Energy Cup semi-finals - both against the Ospreys - had too much strength for their visitors, next to bottom in the league.

New Zealand lock Chris Jack was back from a trip home and he was named man-of-the-match with a dominant display in the tight and the loose.

Worcester, also denied a bonus point and still just five points clear of Leeds at the foot of the table, scored only through the boot of their outside-half Loki Crichton.

However, the visitors needed less than 90 seconds to take the lead, Samoan Crichton slotting over a drop goal, but it was to be their only achievement of the first-half.

Not that Saracens had much to show for it either, Jackson kicking only two of five penalty attempts.

Lock Hugh Vyvyan did go over after four minutes, but referee Andrew Small had spotted a forward pass at the end of centre Adam Powell's break.

Jackson levelled matters with his second kick at goal after nine minutes, but Saracens were guilty of missing a succession of chances and nearly paid for it after 25 minutes.

Then the Warriors' New Zealand wing Rico Gear counter-attacked when the ball broke free out wide, but the 29-year-old did not quite have the speed to make all the 70 metres to the line.

Ten metres out he was tackled by right wing Richard Haughton and although Worcester won a penalty soon afterwards Crichton made a mess of it.

Saracens' Powell had been sent to the sin-bin by then, but the visitors could not take advantage and while he was off Jackson did finally put Saracens into the lead on the half-hour with a penalty off the post.

The number ten made it 9-3 eight minutes into the second-half when visiting captain Pat Sanderson was penalised and sin-binned for diving through a ruck close to their line and preventing home scrum-half Alan Dickens from getting the ball away.

Crichton reduced the deficit with a penalty shortly afterwards, but Saracens then made their man advantage count in a way Worcester had failed to.

A drive to the line was held up, but there was a clear overlap on the right and when the ball came out Ongaro was in position to score a try that Jackson converted for 16-6.

Eleven minutes later Jackson kicked another penalty, but he finished with only four out of eight attempts and other sides would have made him pay more.

The scorers:

For Saracens:

Tries: Ongaro

Con: Jackson

Pen: Jackson 4

For Worcester:

Pen: Crichton

Drop: Crichton

Yellow card: Sanderson (Worcester)

Saracens: 15 Brent Russell, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Francisco Leonelli, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Alan Dickens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Richard Hill (c), 6 Kris Chesney, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Nick Lloyd.

Replacements: 16 Andy Kyriacou, 17 Tom Mercey, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Paul Gustard, 20 Moses Rauluni, 21 Gordon Ross, 22 Edd Thrower.

Worcester: 15 Thinus Delport, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Loki Crichton, 9 Matt Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Darren Morris.

Replacements: 16 Callum Black, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Will Bowley, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Ryan Powell, 21 James Brown, 22 Chris Pennell.

Referee: Andrew Small

Touch judges: Ashley Reay, Peter Huckle

Television match official: John Burtenshaw

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