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- Aviva Premiership
- 23rd Feb 2014
- KO 15:15
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 8,114
Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall pleased after Saracens beat Exeter
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- Ford relieved with Bath win
- Ryan: Half-baked
- Mallinder hails momentum
- Davies points to character
- Smith refuses to blame referee
- Sale breeze to Worcester win
- Overdue win for Gloucester
- Tigers hold off London Irish
- Forward progress for Saracens
- Wilson inspires Saints success
- Bath stay third with Wasps win
Saracens boss Mark McCall was delighted with England centre Joel Tomkins' first full appearance since missing the start of the Six Nations through a knee injury as his side beat Exeter 23-10 in the Aviva Premiership.
Tomkins, sidelined for three months after damaging his knee in England's 30-22 Twickenham defeat by New Zealand in November, paired up with fellow England centre Brad Barritt.
McCall thinks Tomkins made a big impact in hard-fought victory which keeps Saracens in second place, a point behind Northampton, ahead of Friday night's visit to in-form Bath.
"It's great to see Joel back," said director of rugby McCall.
"In the first 20 minutes we were lethargic. We were a second off in everything we did but then Joel made a couple of important breaks and got us on the front foot.
"(Next opponents) Bath are on a roll at the moment and have been playing some good rugby.
"Their set-piece is very strong and it's going to be a big battle.
"It was a mountain for us to come back from 7-0 down when they had a strong wind in the second half but we dominated the set-piece today."
The Saracens boss added that former England lock Mouritz Botha, carried off during the second half after suffering a worrying-looking neck injury in a tackle, had been taken to hospital "as a precaution but I think he's OK".
Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter, whose side suffered their fifth successive Premiership defeat after establishing a 10-7 lead after 47 minutes, described the latest setback as "the story of our season".
He said: "We were very competitive for large parts of the game but when the pressure comes on we start to struggle a little bit.
"We scored the penalty which took us into the lead but then we dropped the restart which becomes a penalty and we're struggling.
"From being a team in the lead, with the wind behind us, all of a sudden we found ourselves playing in our own half - but all credit to Saracens. They played the elements exceptionally well.
"I can't fault the players for effort. We had quite a lot of good individual performances out there but it's just some of the decision-making under pressure. We have to keep getting better at it."Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com