Saracens 19 Worcester 6: Jackson's five hits put boot into Worcester

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The Independent Online

Without ever hitting top form in attack, Saracens beat Worcester at Vicarage Road yesterday to complete the double over the side that did the same to them last season. Saracens, fourth in the Premiership and through to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and EDF Energy Cup semi-finals had too much strength for Worcester.

The New Zealand lock, Chris Jack, was back from a trip home and he was named man of the match as Saracens won by a try from hooker Fabio Ongaro and 14 points from stand-off Glen Jackson.

Worcester, also denied a bonus point and still only five points clear of Leeds at the foot of the table, scored only through the boot of their outside-half Loki Crichton.

The visitors needed less than 90 seconds to take the lead though, Crichton slotting over a drop goal, but it was a rare bright spot.

Jackson levelled matters with his second kick at goal after nine minutes, but Saracens were guilty of missing a succession of chances and nearly paid for it after 25 minutes. The Saracens centre Adam Powell had been sent to the sin bin by then, but the visitors could not take advantage and while he was off Jackson finally put Saracens into the lead on the half-hour with a penalty.

Jackson made it 9-3 eight minutes into the second-half when Pat Sanderson was sent to the sin bin for diving through a ruck close to his line and preventing home scrum-half Alan Dickens from getting the ball away.

Crichton reduced the deficit with a penalty, but Saracens then made their man advantage count. A drive to the line was held up, but there was a clear overlap on the right and Ongaro scored. Jackson converted for 16-6. Eleven minutes later Jackson kicked another penalty.

Saracens: Try Ongaro; Conversion Jackson; Penalties Jackson 4. Worcester: Penalty Crichton; Drop goal Crichton.

Saracens: B Russell (E Thrower, 56);

R Haughton, R Penney, A Powell, F Leonelli; G Jackson, A Dickens (M Rauluni, 72);N Lloyd, F Ongaro, C Visagie (T Mercey, 70), C Jack, H Vyvyan, K Chesney (T Ryder, 63), R Hill, B Skirving (P Gustard, 53).

Worcester: T Delport (C Pennell, 72); R Gear, D Rasmussen, S Tuitupou, M Benjamin; L Crichton (J Brown, 67), M Powell (R Powell, 57); D Morris (C Black, 74), A Lutui, T Taumoepeau (M Mullan, 63), G Rawlinson, C Gillies (W Bowley, 67), T Wood (N Talei, 57), P Sanderson, K Horstmann.

Referee: A Small (RFU).

* Wasps' Premiership match against Sale had to be called off five minutes before kick-off yesterday because large areas of the Adams Park pitch, which had lain in shadow all day, were frozen. Undersoil heating had been installed in 2002, but the freeze happened too quickly for it to save the game.

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