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Sarries suffer champions' jinx
Saracens join long list of beaten champions with Wasps defeat
Saracens kicked off the defence of their Premiership title with a 15-20 defeat by Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday.
The defending champions became the ninth team in 11 years to suffer defeat in their season-opening match after winning the title.
And to make matters worse, Sarries only have themselves to blame after allowing their London rivals to come from behind with a late Tom Varndell try to clinch victory.
Teenage fly-half Owen Farrell booted Saracens into an early lead with a seventh-minute penalty, adding a second two minutes later following a period of sustained pressure.
Wasps had started slowly but came to life after Nicky Robinson pulled three back from a penalty won at the game's first scrum on 16 minutes.
Four minutes later they tore open the Saracens defence with a fantastic crossfield move that ended with Christian Wade going over on the right.
Farrell reduced the arrears with a penalty after Wasps were penalised at the breakdown two minutes before half-time.
But Robinson restored the advantage with the last kick of the half to give Wasps a 13-9 lead going into the break.
Farrell missed the opportunity to close the gap two minutes into the second half but his replacement Charlie Hodgson reduced the deficit to one point on 55 minutes.
Former England international Hodgson, who joined Sarries from Sale in the summer, grabbed the lead for his new side with another three-pointer on the hour to make it 15-13.
But just five minutes later Wasps hit back when Charlie Davies broke before feeding former England wing Varndell, who battered his way through two Saracens defenders for the try.
Robinson converted to make it 20 -15 and eight minutes from time Hodgson had the chance to reduce the arrears to two, but hooked his attempt from wide left of the posts.
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Stewart Davies says...
Sarries only had themselves to blame? Did you even watch the game! Wasps were immense in defence and refused to allow Sarries to play any real rugby while playing some decent stuff themselves. The only victory Sarries can claim was at the scrum. Wasps even dominated the lineout! Not bad considering it had been described as "traditionally weak" earlier in the week! All in all Wasps were good value for their 2 tries to nil victory, & I'm not sure even the most 1 eyed of Sarries fans could dispute that.
Posted 10:05 4th September 2011
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|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