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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 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