Saracens 55 Bath 23: Jackson runs rings round Bath as Barkley is injured again

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The Independent Online

It was not just a rout, it was a Sunday fiesta as Saracens put Bath to the sword with a six-try romp that deepened the West Country side's misery when they take to the road.

The outstanding performer was Saracens' Kiwi stand-off Glen Jackson, whose 23 points outshone Olly Barkley's 11, missing only one conversion and a drop goal attempt from 11 kicks. The England player, returning after a very painfully located injury, had to go off 12 minutes from the end with a dislocation of his right index finger.

For Saracens, a second win in the Premiership this season also diverted the attention being paid to Andy Farrell. The rugby league wonderman was in the programme as a back-row replacement but by the time the team-sheet was handed out he was not on the bench at all. He will play at No 12 tonight in a "friendly" against Leicester.

If Saracens started a little slowly they were soon, by a good margin, the stronger side. Their back row was more than shading the opposition, the centres were full of ambition and the back three had more cutting edge.

After giving away a penalty to Barkley, the home winger Richard Haughton set the tone by not only standing up while being tackled under a hanging ball, but then making the break which put Jackson away to give the scoring pass to Kameli Ratuvou.

A quick reply from Nick Abendanon, backing up Michael Stephenson, put Bath back in front before Jackson kicked another penalty. Bath replied with another Barkley penalty but Saracens grabbed a second try when the scrum-half Neil de Kock managed to stay in bounds and pass to Matt Cairns. Bath needed to find a way back into the game; Saracens needed to break a habit of not just playing well in bursts, but for the full 80 minutes.

A 41st-minute drop goal by Jackson thickened their cushion before a driving effort finished by Kevin Yates and an individual 40-yard try by Ben Johnston brought up the bonus point and got the Fez-Head faithful glowing. A late rally from Bath gave the replacement Jonny Faamatuainu a solo consolation score, but Rodd Penney had already chased a kick ahead by Johnston for his first try and he made it a brace with an interception in the dying seconds.

Saracens: Tries Ratuvou, Cairns, Yates, Johnston, Penney 2; Conversions Jackson 4, Laidlaw; Penalties Jackson 4; Drop goal Jackson. Bath: Tries Abendanon, Faamautainu; Conversions Barkley, Berne; Penalties Barkley 3.

Saracens: D Scarbrough; R Haughton (R Penney, 69), K Sorrell, B Johnston, K Ratuvou; G Jackson (R Laidlaw, 76), N de Kock (A Dickens, 69); K Yates, M Cairns (S Byrne, 72, C Visagie (A Liffchak, 71), I Fullarton, S Raiwalui (capt), H Vyvyan (P Gustard, 71), D Seymour, B Skirving (K Chesney, 60).

Bath: N Abendanon; M Stephenson, T Cheeseman (S Berne, 40), E Fuimaono-Sapolu, J Maddock (I Davey, 59); O Barkley (P Travagli, 69), N Walshe; D Flatman (D Barnes, 50), L Mears (R Hawkins, 55), D Bell, P Short, D Grewcock, A Beattie, J Scaysbrook (C Goodman, 60), I Feaunati (Capt) (J Faamatuainu, 55).

Referee: S Davey (Sussex).

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