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

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00