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Burns leaves Sarries sore
Fly-half's late penalty earns draw for Gloucester
Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns each landed five penalties as Saracens and Gloucester played out a 15-15 draw in shocking weather at Vicarage Road.
Burns landed his final kick in the 77th minute to ensure a share of the spoils for the visitors after they had trailed for most of the match.
Farrell nudged Saracens 9-6 ahead in the first half, Burns missing a drop-goal attempt just before the interval, and then stretched his side's advantage to six points early in the second.
But Burns levelled matters - and repeated the dose three minutes from time after Sarries had again edged ahead in the 67th minute.
Saracens were forced to make an 11th-hour change as Farrell moving up off the bench to replace Charlie Hodgson, who became a father for the third time during the early hours with the birth of son Jack.
Gloucester restored Mike Tindall to their midfield after resting him for their home win over Wasps.
England interim head coach Stuart Lancaster was at Vicarage Road to assess the likes of Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Farrell in the home side and Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder and Burns from the visitors.
Farrell got the chance to kick-start the scoreboard when referee Sean Davey awarded the hosts a penalty for a ruck offence after six minutes, but he hooked his kick into the driving rain.
Jim Hamilton was penalised at the breakdown three minutes later, and Farrell made no mistake from in front of the posts.
Burns levelled matters on 12 minutes with a difficult kick from wide on the left wing, but Farrell struck again on 18 minutes after Peter Buxton was penalised at a lineout.
Considering the atrocious conditions, both teams tried to play expansive rugby, with sometimes predictable results in terms of handling errors.
One such led to a penalty for Gloucester but although Burns managed the distance from just inside his own half, the ball faded right feet from the posts.
At this stage, however, Gloucester had reversed the earlier trend and were taking the game to Saracens while also getting more of their own way in the scrum, while the home side were justifying their reputation as their meanest defence in the Aviva Premiership.
But the pressure told two minutes from half-time when Davey spotted an offside, and this time Burns hit it straight between the sticks from 47 metres.
Half-time did no favours to Gloucester, who lost some of their impetus upon the restart. Davey then penalised Hamilton for barging and Farrell's fourth goal on 49 minutes edged them further ahead, only for the equally dangerous Burns to nail his third penalty on 53 minutes.
And when another Gloucester scrum forced Saracens into a mistake on 61 minutes, Burns hauled his team level with another long-range shot.
Farrell had the chance to regain the lead four minutes later but his attempt flew across the face of the goal and just wide.
Sharples put his team in peril on 68 minutes, taking the ball into contact deep in his half then not releasing when tackled. Farrell's fifth goal roused the soaked home crowd.
Aside from the duel between Farrell and Burns there was little else to lift Lancaster out of his seat from other contenders.
And when Saracens blundered three minutes from time, Burns was handed a 45-metre opportunity to equalise and delivered in style.
|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