Planet Rugby

Saracens pull through at Exeter

23rd November 2013 16:54

Share:

billy vunipola saracens exeter

Bruiser: Billy Vunipola

Premiership leaders Saracens clung on for a 16-9 win over Devon-based Exeter Chiefs on their trip to Sandy Park on Saturday.

Sarries enjoyed an impressive first half and went 13-3 up at the break through Ben Ransom's try and eight points from the boot of Alex Goode.

Phil Dollman's penalty was Exeter's sole response before half-time and Gareth Steenson kicked another two after the interval, but Marcelo Bosch's three-pointer sealed the win.

Despite enjoying a fine start to this season, the visitors were humbled 41-20 by Northampton Saints before bouncing back against Newcastle Falcons 40-3 at home.

However, with several of their internationals back in action following the autumn series, they opened the game impressively. Just five minutes had elapsed when one of those England players, Chris Ashton, broke through and set up Ransom to go over for a 7-0 lead.

Having received that setback, Exeter then went on the front foot and they went close a number of times, but superb Sarries defence kept Rob Baxter's men out. And when the away side lifted the pressure once more, Steenson was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on.

Goode kicked the resultant opportunity before Dollman, taking over duties with the Chiefs' stand-off off the field, reduced the deficit with a penalty.

But Sarries' fly-half then restored their 10-point advantage as they went into the interval 13-3 ahead.

The hosts started well after the interval and Steenson scored his first points of the afternoon, but Bosch's long range three-pointer once again kept Exeter at arm's length.

Although Steenson took the Chiefs to within losing bonus-point territory, Saracens held on despite a late surge from the West Country team.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Pens: Dollman, Steenson 2
Yellow Card: Steenson

For Saracens:
Try: Ransom
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 2, Bosch

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Luke Arscott.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Tim Streather, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Michael Tagicakibau, 23 Ben Ransom.

Referee: tba
Assistant referees: Roger Baileff, Andrew Pearce
Timekeeper: Eric Bullion
Television match official: David Sainsbury

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058