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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 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