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Aviva Premiership: Saracens crush Bath at the Rec
Charlie Hodgson kicked 17 points and Richard Wigglesworth scored a try as Saracens shut out Bath 22-0 at the Rec on Saturday.
The victory saw Sarries briefly move to the top of the Aviva Premiership table although Harlequins' victory over Northampton later in the day moved them ahead by a point at Christmas.
The visitors fared better in the appalling conditions to surge 16-0 ahead at the break following Wigglesworth's 22nd-minute score.
Bath offered little in attack and rarely threatened to break through, bar a strong drive in the early minutes that came to nothing.
Saracens used their trademark kicking game to keep their pack on the front foot and Bath at bay, Hodgson booting them ahead in the 14th minute.
Joel Tomkins then put Chris Ashton away on the right but referee Greg Garner spotted a forward pass, although the try was not long in coming.
With perfect line-out ball off the top, Hodgson made light of the underfoot conditions to glide effortlessly through the Bath defence, and David Strettle was on his elbow before Wigglesworth finished off in a muddy splash.
Hodgson converted from wide out, but opposite number Stephen Donald missed from 45m before watching his counterpart nudge over another three-pointer.
Two more Donald efforts failed to divide the uprights from distance but again Hodgson hit the target after Nick Abendanon was caught in possession.
Bath came out stronger in the second-half and did have a good spell of possession in the right corner, but when Sarries won a penalty on a Bath put-in the die was cast.
Having ended the siege, the visitors worked themselves into position for Hodgson to land his fourth penalty on the hour, extending the lead to 19 points, unassailable in the conditions.
Shortly afterwards another penalty attempt hit the post and he was also wide from longer range but there was no mistake when Hodgson was offered a more straightforward chance after 74 minutes.
Saracens finished firmly in control, as they had been for most of the game.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com