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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.
Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com