Planet Rugby

Farrell wins it for Saracens

04th May 2013 16:22

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Owen Farrell Saracens v Northampton AVP 2012

Eventful: Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell scored 13 points and spent some time in the sin-bin as Saracens secured top spot with a 23-14 win over Bath.

Tries from England internationals Farrell, Chris Ashton and Mako Vunipola gave Saracens a convincing win at Allianz Park.

Mark McCall's side bounced back from their Heineken Cup defeat against Toulon last week to seal top-spot in the Aviva Premiership and secure a home tie against Northampton in the play-off semi-finals.

The result, along with Exeter's win over Gloucester, ensured that Bath missed out on a top six finish. Saracens took the lead 12 minutes in as Schalk Brits released Ashton who responded to his Lions snub by scoring his sixth try of the season.

High winds made kicking difficult for both sides as Farrell missed with the conversion attempt but he scored his first points soon after with a penalty as Bath's Guy Mercer was sent to the sin-bin.

Saracens extended their lead as Vunipola further justified his inclusion in the Lions squad by as the prop crashed over on the left wing to put his side 13-0 ahead.

Vunipola was in fine form and his sublime offload allowed Ashton to cross over once again but TMO Graham Hughes ruled that the pass went forward.

The home side were dealt a blow as Farrell was yellow carded for a high tackle on fly-half Tom Heathcote and Bath took full advantage with their first try as Dominic Day gathered from the lineout and Rob Webber touched down from the rolling maul.

Heathcote's conversion cut Bath?s deficit to just six points going into the half-time break but Saracens hit back in the second half as Farrell crossed the whitewash after a line-break from South African scrum-half Neil de Kock.

The England fly-half, being watched by his father and Lions assistant coach Andy Farrell, converted his own try to restore his side's 13 point lead.

Horacio Agulla crashed through the Saracens defence and Heathcote added the extras to give Bath hope midway through the second-half but a second penalty from Farrell sealed the win for the hosts and ended Bath?s hopes of European qualification.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Ashton, Vunipola, Farrell
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 2
Yellow Card: Farrell

For Bath:
Tries: Webber, Agulla
Cons: Heathcote 2
Yellow Card: Mercer

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 George Kruis, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Joe Maddock.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Semesa Rokoduguni, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Nick Koster, 22 Peter Stringer, 23 Tom Biggs.

Referee: Martin Fox
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick and Roy Maybank
TMO: Graham Hughes.

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