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|Home team||Away Team|
||35 - 14||
- Aviva Premiership
- 3rd Mar 2013
- KO 14:15
- Ground: Vicarage Road
- Att: 10,000
Aviva Premiership: Saracens beat London Welsh to go top
Saracens took full advantage of Harlequins' slip-up on Saturday by beating London Welsh 35-14 to return to the top of the Aviva Premiership table.
The champions were shocked by Exeter at the Stoop but their closest rivals rarely looked likely to make the same mistake against the struggling Exiles.
The visitors battled bravely - particularly given the upheaval they have suffered off the pitch this week - but Saracens had too much pace and power for them, particularly as the game wore on.
But it says everything for Welsh's spirit that even with the game long gone, they were defending their line ferociously before David Strettle went in for the bonus-point try seven minutes from time.
Saracens had to settle for two Charlie Hodgson penalties in a closely-fought opening quarter, but despite being on the back foot throughout, it was Welsh who came up with the first try on 26 minutes.
A slick handling move took the ball 50 metres upfield and when it was shipped the width of the pitch, Seb Stegmann slalomed his way over in the left corner on his debut, although Gavin Henson's conversion attempt rebounded off a post.
Saracens continued to play at a pace that Welsh were struggling to cope with and on the half hour Phil MacKenzie was sin-binned for cynically slowing up play.
Moments later a Saracens maul rumbled towards the line, it was dragged down and Welsh suffered the double blow of a penalty try and a second man in the bin - this time prop Tom Bristow.
But the visitors at least survived to the half having conceded just a further Hodgson penalty, with Henson's drop-goal on the whistle cutting the deficit to 16-11.
The second half belonged almost exclusively to Saracens as they seized the initiative early with Joel Tomkins completing a scrum move with a powerful finish.
Hodgson converted but Henson's penalty kept Welsh in touch before the try of the game settled it, as David Strettle's step, and a superb offload from Schalk Brits put Will Fraser in for a brilliant one-handed finish at the corner.
James Short just failed to repeat the feat in the opposite corner as Stegmann's tackle forced him into touch, but after incessant pressure on the Welsh line, Strettle burst through a gap in the defence to score the bonus-point try.
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|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|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com