Planet Rugby

Another five points for Saracens

22nd September 2013 16:01

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saracens v bath matt stevens

Rare try: Matt Stevens

Saracens made it three bonus-point wins from three in the Premiership after beating Bath 31-17 thanks to a fine first 40 at Allianz Park on Sunday.

A quick start and four first-half tries did the damage as Saracens powered past the West Country side in perfect conditions for rugby.

Both teams headed into the game having recorded back-to-back wins, and a close encounter was anticipated, but Sarries produced a fantastic performance during the opening exchanges to take the game away from Bath.

The two teams exchanged penalties during the opening ten minutes before Saracens asserted their dominance with four tries in the remaining half hour before the interval.

David Strettle continued his strong early-season form with the first try, and he added a second in the first half when he combined with Chris Ashton. Before then, the second came when Alex Goode marked his return from injury with a well-taken try, following a period of Bath pressure.

Owen Farrell slotted all three conversions, and he added a fourth when Matt Stevens dove over in spectacular style to leave Bath with a mountain to climb in the second half.

There was a noticeable change in Saracens' game plan after the break as they sought to consolidate their lead.

The first score of the second half came just shy of the hour when Semesa Rokoduguni intercepted Goode's ambitious pass to score Bath's first try of the afternoon, but by then it was too late to mount a comeback. George Ford converted and Bath held their own in the final 20 minutes.

And they were able to add a second score in the last five minutes when Dave Atwood stayed low and drove over the line from short range for Ford to convert and add further respectability to the scoreline.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Strettle 2, Goode, Stevens
Con: Farrell 4
Pen: Farrell

For Bath:
Tries: Rokoduguni, Attwood
Con: Ford 2
Pen: Heathcote

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle; 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Billy Vunipola, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 James Johnston, 19 Alastair Hargreaves, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Ben Ransom.

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (capt), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Anthony Perenise.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Paul James, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Matt Garvey, 21 Micky Young, 22 George Ford, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Stuart Terheege
Television match official: David Sainsbury

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