Planet Rugby

Saracens keep momentum going

22nd November 2009 16:45

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Derick Hougaard fierce

Derick Hougaard: Booted Saracens to victory

Saracens made it eight from eight in the Guinness Premiership with a stodgy 19-6 win over Wasps at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Dominant in the scrum and fuelled by the confidence gained from beating South Africa on Tuesday night, Saracens sank their old rivals on a raid-sodden Vicarage Road pitch.

Saracens were without England captain Steve Borthwick but Test duties hit Wasps worse as they were deprived of Tim Payne, Joe Worsley and Simon Shaw.

One man Saracens did have available was their record points scorer Glen Jackson, but they elected to rest him.

Within three minutes that logic was put to the test as Saracens were awarded a kickable penalty and Derick Hougaard's kick rebounded off a post.

The reprieve was short-lived, however, as Saracens ran a poor clearance back at pace, Wasps struggled to block all avenues and Hougaard had time to take Kevin Barrett's pass and kick a drop goal.

Wasps responded by camping on the Saracens line and were eventually rewarded with a penalty converted by Dave Walder.

Despite the wet and windy conditions, both teams elected to be bold and attempted to force each other onto the back foot.

It was Saracens who made the first breakthrough 11 minutes in.

Wasps could not halt a powerful driving maul and hooker Schalk Brits broke clear and scored on the left, Hougaard converting.

Wasps reduced the arrears in the 21st minute with another Walder penalty but Hougaard soon responded with a penalty of his own.

England wing Paul Sackey switched wings in search of possession but his attempted chip ahead for Tom Varndell was dealt with by Alex Goode.

The first penalty of the second half went to Wasps but Walder's effort from halfway went wide.

Hougaard was no more successful from just inside his own half on 54 minutes and fired another long-range effort wide two minutes later, his third miss from five attempts on goal.

Just when it seemed that considerable Saracens pressure would go unrewarded, Hougaard arrowed home a drop goal to take their lead to 16-6 after 58 minutes.

Further pressure saw Wasps concede yet another penalty and this time Hougaard made no mistake in the 63rd minute.

Wasps' problems in the scrum were not solved by a rash of substitutions and Hougaard sealed their fate with a penalty on 70 minutes.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Try: Brits
Con: Hougaard
Pens: Hougaard 3
Drop goals: Hougaard 2

For Wasps:
Pens: Walder 2

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Wikus van Heerden (c), 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Hugh Vyvyan, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Kasiano Lealamanua, 18 Richard Skuse, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Don Barrell, 21 Justin Marshall, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Rodd Penney.

London Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Serge Betsen (c), 6 John Hart, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 George Skivington, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Gabriel Bocca
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Marty Veale, 20 Dan Leo, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Steve Kefu, 23 Lachlan Mitchell.

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PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411