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|Home team||Away Team|
|23 - 10||
- Aviva Premiership
- 23rd Feb 2014
- KO 15:15
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 8,114
Aviva Premiership: Saracens power past Exeter
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
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- Overdue win for Gloucester
- Tigers hold off London Irish
- Wilson inspires Saints success
- Bath stay third with Wasps win
A pair of powerfully-driven tries from front-row forwards James Johnston and Schalk Brits enabled second-placed Saracens to beat Exeter Chiefs 23-10.
Both were converted by former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson, who also kicked three second-half penalties in the 23-10 home win.
Exeter, who had taken the lead with a try by centre Ian Whitten, suffered their fifth successive Premiership defeat.
Their other five points came from the boot of fly-half Gareth Steenson.
Exeter rejected the opportunity to go for goal when they were awarded a 40-metre penalty after only four minutes.
But, after winning the lineout, the move backfired when they lost possession at the first breakdown.
The visitors, however, maintained their early pressure and took the lead in the 10th minute when they moved the ball wide for flanker Tom Johnson to send Whitten over in the right-hand corner.
Steenson added the touchline conversion. Hodgson was wide with a penalty from five metres inside his own half but Saracens began to assert themselves and only an ankle-tap tackle by scrum-half Dave Lewis denied United States international Chris Wyles a try in the left corner.
A decision to go for touch rather than goal paid dividends for Saracens as they drew level in the 34th minute after their rampant scrum forced the back-pedalling Exeter pack to concede the penalty.
The forwards continued to pressurise the Exeter line and the Chiefs defence finally cracked when 22-stone prop Johnston, with the support of lock Mouritz Botha, drove over from close range for a try converted by Hodgson.
Steenson put Exeter back in front with a 47th-minute penalty but, a minute later Hodgson passed up the chance of a levelling shot at goal when he kicked for the corner.
The catch and drive forced the Chiefs into rapid retreat over their own line before hooker Brits grounded the ball and Hodgson converted.
There was a lengthy hold-up on the hour mark while former England second-row man Botha received on-field treatment before being carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Steve Borthwick, the former England skipper.
Saracens also sent on Namibian World Cup skipper Jacques Burger for recently-deposed Scotland captain Kelly Brown and South African Neil de Kock for former England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.
Hodgson kicked two penalties in the space of three minutes to increase the Saracens lead to 10 points.
Saracens were forced to play the last 10 minutes without Burger who was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Exeter full-back Phil Dollman.
But the home side shrugged off their numerical disadvantage to continue their second-half domination.
Three minutes from time their depleted pack forced another penalty, enabling Hodgson to wrap up victory with his third penalty of the half.Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com