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LV= Cup: Saracens beat Worcester to advance to last four
An under-strength Saracens qualified for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup with a 22-12 victory over Worcester at Sixways.
Saracens pipped London Irish to top Pool Three and likely face an away semi-final when the competition resumes in the middle of March.
They scored an excellent early try through the outstanding Ernst Joubert, but had to rely on the goal-kicking skills of scrum-half Ben Spencer for the remainder of their points.
Saracens made an excellent start, taking the lead after only three minutes. They produced a superb handling movement which ended with number eight Joubert selling a neat dummy and running 20 metres unopposed to score a try which Spencer converted.
Spencer added a 10th-minute penalty before Worcester mounted their first attack of the match, an unstoppable 20-metre drive from their forwards resulting in Blair Cowan crashing over for the try which Andy Goode converted.
Saracens suffered another blow when centre Adam Powell left the field with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Chris Wyles before, on the stroke of half-time, a second penalty from Spender gave the visitors a 13-7 cushion.
Worcester survived a spell of early pressure in the second hald and then turned the tables, a clever cross-field kick from Goode allowing Josh Drauniniu to collect for a try. Goode converted.
Immediately following the try, Worcester introduced Matt Kvesic - released from the England squad - Paul Hodgson and Neil Best from the bench, but it was Saracens who extended their advantage when Spencer kicked another penalty.
Spencer first hit a post with another penalty attempt but late on succeeded with two more to seal a notable win for his side.
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|Saturday 31st January|
|15:00||Scarlets vs London Irish|
|15:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|15:00||Leicester vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Sale|
|15:00||London Welsh vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Bath vs Ospreys|
|15:00||Sale vs Scarlets|
|15:00||Northampton vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Exeter|
|15:00||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester|
|Friday 14th November|
|Ospreys 35 - 51 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets|
|Sunday 9th November|
|Leicester 29 - 13 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester|
|Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish|
|Saturday 8th November|
|Exeter 18 - 6 Bath|
|Friday 7th November|
|Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues|
|Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Ospreys 9 - 21 Saracens|
|Scarlets 7 - 24 Northampton|
|Sunday 2nd November|
|Saracens 25 - 20 Harlequins|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Northampton 37 - 23 Newcastle|
|London Irish 16 - 17 Leicester|
|Bath 47 - 7 London Welsh|
|Exeter 28 - 27 Gloucester|
|Sale Sharks 32 - 29 Wasps|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com