Strettle and Barritt strike in Saracens' second-half show of power

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The Independent Online

Saracens claimed their second successive Premiership victory of the season yesterday, defeating Worcester 18-6 at Vicarage Road.

Mark McCall's reigning champions built on their narrow win over Bath last weekend by scoring two tries in the second half, from wing David Strettle and centre Brad Barritt, while newly-promoted Worcester stay second-bottom.

The hosts went ahead inside three minutes when Charlie Hodgson landed a penalty awarded for a breakdown offence, and the fly-half almost recorded another 17 minutes later but this time his effort came back off the post. Andy Goode provided the riposte for Worcester, equalising with a drop-goal in the 22nd minute, before he added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors a three-point advantage.

Saracens began the second half strongly, pulling ahead courtesy of Hodgson kicking his second penalty; he then initiated his side's opening try in the 52nd minute. The 30-year-old passed to substitute Owen Farrell and found Strettle, who darted down the left before touching down. Barritt then struck just after the hour-mark, forcing his way over the line despite the efforts of two defenders. Hodgson, who had failed to convert Strettle's effort, made no mistake this time, drilling the ball between the posts to ensure victory.

Harlequins' head coach Conor O'Shea warned his players of complacency despite his side recording an emphatic 42-6 victory over Gloucester on Saturday, which propelled them to the top of the table.

"We won't be getting carried away," reflected O'Shea of his team, who remain unbeaten this season. "We know that in the next minute of the next game, if we don't approach it with the intensity and physicality we need to, we will be blasted."

Quins scored five tries at The Stoop, including a brace from Luke Wallace, to consign Gloucester to their second loss of the season.

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