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LV= Cup: Saracens keep rallying Wasps at bay at Adam's Park
Saracens held off a late Wasps fightback to open their LV= Cup campaign with a 24-21 bonus-point victory at Adam's Park.
The visitors looked to be home and hosed when they led 24-7 with 17 minutes remaining, only for their opponents to threaten to produce a late sting in the tale.
Indeed, in the end Sarries needed a last-gasp tackle on Tom Howe in the final play of the match to preserve their lead in the battle of the two capital rivals.
The first 25 minutes had been an even contest before Saracens hit their opponents with 24 unanswered points, including tries from Ben Ransom, Nick Tompkins, Richard Barrington and Jack Wilson.
Ben Spencer added two conversions but four further misses at the posts meant Wasps remained alive.
After a low-key opening it was the home team that took the lead, Matt Everard collecting a loose ball to drive over for a try which Joe Carlisle converted.
Spencer missed a 30-metre penalty attempt to get Saracens off the mark before they did get their first points with a breakaway score that saw Ransom enjoy an easy run-in.
With the last movement of the first half they then took the lead, Tompkins running on to a clever chip through from Nils Mordt. The conversion made it 12-7 at the break.
Saracens continued to dominate in the first 10 minutes of the second half and were rewarded with their third try when prop Richard Barrington finished off a line-out drive.
Spencer converted and the game looked as good as over when a pass from Guy Thompson was intercepted to allow Wilson to scoot away for Saracens' fourth try, securing them an extra point.
Yet Wasps gave themselves a glimmer of hope with just under an hour to go when replacement hooker Neil Cochrane touched down, Carlisle converting to bring the deficit back to 10 points.
Minutes later Wilson was yellow carded for killing the ball. Ben Jacobs crashed over and Carlisle added the extras yet that, though, was as close as Wasps would get in their brave comeback bid.
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|Saturday 31st January|
|14:40||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:00||Leicester vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
|18:30||Scarlets vs London Irish|
|Sunday 1st February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Saracens|
|14:30||Dragons vs Exeter|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th February|
|14:00||Sale Sharks vs Scarlets|
|14:30||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester Tigers|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Bath vs Ospreys|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 8th February|
|14:30||Dragons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Saracens vs Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com