Leeds Tykes put the relegation pressure squarely on Harlequins' shoulders with a vital victory over Saracens. The Headingley side, who had not previously won away from home all season, picked up four points to move one place up the table.
Leeds now have 23 points, with two games in hand on the bottom side Quins, who have collected 22 points from 16 games. For Saracens it was another below-par performance from what is now a near full-strength side, with the likes of skipper Abdel Benazzi back in the team.
The contest in the first half was close, but far from exciting. The South African fly-halves, Luke Smith and Braam van, Straaten exchanged penalties for the first 38 minutes to make the score 12-12 before the new Tykes recruit Japie Mulder finally livened up proceedings with an injury-time try after Leeds were rewarded for pressure with a scrum five metres from the goal line. Van Straaten finally spread the ball to Mulder, who scrambled over the line.
Van Straaten converted to give the visitors a 12-19 lead at the break. Leeds then continued to dominate and after 53 minutes they extended their lead to 10 points with another Van Straaten penalty. Smith and Van Straaten again traded penalties before Dan Hyde crashed over for Leeds with nine minutes left.
A third try, two minutes from full time, brought to an end another disastrous outing for Saracens, the right wing Chris Hall charging down Van Straaten's kick-ahead to touch down.
Saracens: Penalties Smith 5. Leeds Tykes: Tries Mulder 2, Hall. Conversions: Van Straaten 2. Penalties: Van Straaten 6.
Saracens: Winnan; Johnson, Sorrell, Horan, Arasa; Smith, Bracken; Flatman, Russell, Durant, K Benazzi, Murray, Chesney, Roques, Hill. Substitutes used: Harbut, Cairns, Roche, Cole, A. Benazzi, Walshe, O'Mahony.
Leeds Tykes: Scarborough; Hall, Woof, Mulder, Emmerson; Van Straaten, Benton; Shelley, Rawlinson, Kerr, C Murphy, Palmer, Mather, Hyde, Fea'unati. Substitutes used: Fullman, Luffman, P. Murphy, Hogg, O'Reilly, Bachop, Benson.
Referee: A Rowden (RFU).
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