Saracens 19 London Wasps 12 match report: Sarries maintain their place at the top with victory in London derby

A Will Fraser try and points from England duo Alex Goode and Will Fraser sees off valiant Wasps with captain Chris Bell going over twice

Saracens maintained their 100 per cent start to the Aviva Premiership season with their fifth straight victory on Saturday afternoon.

But Wasps, who ended their run of 11 successive defeats with a win over bottom-of-the-table Worcester last weekend, made them battle all the way.

England full-back Alex Goode had edged the leaders ahead with a first-half penalty, but they took a grip on the game in the second half, with flanker Will Fraser scoring their only try. Second-half replacement Owen Farrell converted before landing three late penalties to make the result safe.

Wasps captain Chris Bell replied with two second-half tries, with replacement fly-half Andy Goode landing the last-kick conversion which secured the visitors a deserved losing bonus point.

Alex Goode, switched to fly-half with Charlie Hodgson injured and Saracens' rotation policy putting Owen Farrell on the bench, kicked Saracens into a sixth-minute lead with a penalty after a breakdown infringement.

Young full-back Elliot Daly, making only his second start of the campaign after injury, showed neat footwork to escape trouble, run out of defence and put Wasps on the offensive.

Daly's 65-metre kick into touch took the visitors back into the home 22 and they stifled Saracens' attempts to counter attack with big hits from Bell and the combative back-row duo of Ashley Johnson and Nathan Hughes.

Wasps' task became even harder when lock Kearnan Myall was yellow-carded in the 26th minute for an off-the-ball challenge which left Fraser requiring treatment, but Alex Goode missed the resulting long-range penalty.

Looking to capitalise on his side's numerical advantage, Sarries' Chris Ashton chased Goode's kick to the right-hand corner but was foiled as the last-ditch outstretched boot of Wasps left wing Josh Bassett diverted the ball from his grasp.

Wasps prevented Saracens from increasing their lead during Myall's 10-minute absence and went in only 3-0 down at the interval.

Both sides switched their fly-halves for the start of the second half. Farrell's appearance, replacing Ben Ransom, saw Alex Goode revert to his normal full-back role for Sarries.

Wasps brought on Andy Goode in place of the injured Daly - the most impressive member of their back division in the first half - with Joe Carlisle moving to full-back.

Farrell missed an early chance to get on the scoresheet when he put a relatively simple 44th-minute penalty wide.

But he made amends two minutes later, starting the move which saw Alex Goode come into the three-quarter line and make the break which split the Wasps defence before he sent supporting flanker Fraser over in the left corner.

Farrell landed the touchline conversion - a much more difficult kick than the one had had just missed - before adding two more.

But Wasps hit back with a try from skipper Bell, brilliantly created by Christian Wade who is challenging Ashton for the England number 14 shirt after making his mark on the summer tour to Argentina.

Wade burst down the touchline, with his pace and footwork leaving three would-be tacklers trailing before passing out of the next tackle to send Bell over.

With 44 seconds left on the clock, Ashton was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and Wasps upped the pressure to salvage a point with Bell's second try, converted by Andy Goode.

PA

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing