Home team Away Team

Saracens

  • Penalty, Strettle, Tomkins, Fraser,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (3),
    Conversions: Hodgson (3),
35 - 14

London Welsh

  • Stegmann,
    Penalty goals: Henson (2),
    Drop goals: Henson,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 3rd Mar 2013
  • KO 14:15
  • Ground: Vicarage Road
  • Att: 10,000

Aviva Premiership: Saracens beat London Welsh to go top

Last updated: 4th March 2013  

Richard Wigglesworth of Saracens beats the tackle from Tom Bristow of London Welsh

Sarries' Richard Wigglesworth evades the tackle of Tom Bristow

Schalk Brits of Saracens

Schalk Brits makes some hard yards for Saracens

Related links

Teams

Also see

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.

Initiative

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.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com