Planet Rugby

Sarries win to close in on Harlequins

04th March 2012 18:43

Share:

SKY_MOBILE 140653191 Saracens

Rising highest: James Short

Saracens cut the gap at the Aviva Premiership summit to just four points after they battled past Northampton 18-12 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Charlie Hodgson booted all eighteen points for the second-placed side as the hosts edged it.

Saracens were looking to put in a positive performance following back-to-back league defeats, while Northampton were in good form following wins over Sale and London Irish.

Both sides have demonstrated their attacking flair this season but conditions this afternoon were poor, meaning it boiled down to a war of attrition between the opposing packs, and a battle of nerves between the two teams' kickers.

Northampton took the lead in the tenth minute courtesy of a straight forward Stephen Myler penalty, but their advantage didn't last long.

Hodgson levelled the score within two minutes, and the hosts were in front soon after when Hodgson was on target again.

At the end of the first quarter Myler missed the opportunity to level the scores for a second time when he skewed his attempt on goal wide, but he made no mistake five minutes from half-time to make it 6-6.

That would have been a fair scoreline heading into the break, but Hodgson's third penalty of the afternoon on 40 minutes gave Saracens a slender advantage.

The second half began in a similar manner to the first as the rain continued to pour.

Two more Hodgson penalties around the 50-minute mark, including one from the touchline, opened up a nine-point lead, but Myler got Saints back to within a converted try with his third successful penalty of the afternoon.

On 63 minutes Hodgson maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot and restored the nine-point advantage, and this time there was to be no late rally from Northampton, with Ryan Lamb's penalty goal for the visitors coming too late to have an impact on the result.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Pen: Hodgson 6

For Northampton:
Pen: Myler 3, Lamb

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Duncan Taylor, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Adam Powell, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Justin Melck, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 John Smit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Joel Tomkins, 23 Joe Maddock.

Northampton: 15 Paul Diggin, 14 Vasily Artemyev, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Downey, 11 Scott Armstrong, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Calum Clark (c), 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Andy Long, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Referee: Wayne Barnes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00