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- Aviva Premiership
- 13th Apr 2014
- KO 14:00
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 9,999
Aviva Premiership: Saracens beat Northampton to increase lead
- Tuitupou: Quins game must-win
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- O'Shea: Quins won't give up
- Bosses hit out after derby
- Injury worry for Farrell
- Baxter upset after fightback
- Tigers boss remains cautious
- Richards blasts poor Falcons
- Flying Quins outclass Sharks
- Tigers' Tuilagi bites Wasps
- Fenby hat-trick downs Falcons
- Bath battle past Gloucester
- Chiefs command Warriors
Saracens all but secured top spot in the Aviva Premiership and a home semi-final after a 28-24 victory over second-placed Northampton at Allianz Park.
David Strettle, Kelly Brown and Marcelo Bosch all scored tries in a win which sees Saracens move 10 points clear of the Saints with just three games remaining in the regular season.
Northampton only had a penalty try and a Stephen Myler penalty to show for their efforts for most of the contest, but late scores from Luther Burrell and George North earned them a losing bonus point and ensured it was a nervy finish for the hosts.
Sarries captain Steve Borthwick could not have hoped for a better way to celebrate his record-breaking 263rd Premiership appearance on a sun-drenched day in London.
Northampton spent last week at a warm-weather training camp in Lanzarote and were badly off the pace until the closing stages.
Strettle's rich scoring form continued in the ninth minute when he collected a brilliant chip through by Owen Farrell and touched down in the left corner for his 15th try of the season.
But the promising start unravelled as Myler landed a penalty and a conversion after referee Matthew Carley awarded a penalty try.
The home pack were driven back by a Northampton driving maul which started on the 22 and with defenders entering illegally from the side, Carley awarded the score under the posts.
Stung into action by the 10-5 deficit, Saracens crossed through Brown in the right corner after Schalk Brits' burst up the middle once again caused chaos in Saints' defence.
Brits' outstanding afternoon continued with brilliant successive offloads from the floor before Northampton forward Courtney Lawes flattened England team-mate Farrell.
Bosch took over the kicking duties and justified the decision by landing two penalties in quick succession, while North showed lightning reflexes to prevent former Saint Chris Ashton from going over for a try.
The first half ended with a Farrell penalty, but the fly-half's afternoon was soon over as he failed to emerge from the break due to a foot injury.
Saracens led 21-10 and apart from an early burst by the towering North, continued their dominance despite making a flurry of substitutions.
Richard Wigglesworth had weaved a path upfield before Ashton was stopped inches short, with Argentina centre Bosch taking up the baton and finishing the move.
The home side looked to be cruising towards the win but in the 73rd minute an outstretched arm from Burrell delivered Northampton's second try following a defensive lapse from Strettle.
Burrell then forced his way to the line and offloaded to North via a Saracens hand, and amid a melee of bodies the Wales star forced his way over with four minutes still on the clock.
Myler converted both tries and Northampton pressed again, but Saracens' resolve saw them home in the dying stages.
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||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|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com