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Exeter


  • Penalty goals: Steenson (2), Dolman,
9 - 16

Saracens

  • Ransom,
    Penalty goals: Goode (2), Bosch,
    Conversions: Goode,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 23rd Nov 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Sandy Park
  • Att: 9,000

Aviva Premiership: Saracens beat Exeter Chiefs to stay top

Last updated: 23rd November 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

UNION TOURNAMENT Matt Jess Exeter Aviva

Exeter wing Matt Jess runs into the Saracens defence

UNION TOURNAMENT Alex Goode  Saracens Aviva

Alex Goode makes a break for Saracens

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Saracens battled their way to a 16-9 victory over Exeter at Sandy Park to stay top of the Aviva Premiership.

Ben Ransom's first-half try, together with kicks from Alex Goode and Marcelo Bosch, ensured Mark McCall's men picked up their sixth victory of the campaign.

Rob Baxter's Chiefs countered with three penalties of their own through Gareth Steenson (two) and Phil Dollman, and were twice denied potential tries - through Ian Whitten and Tom Johnson - by TV match official David Sainsbury.

Saracens lost fly-half Charlie Hodgson to a blow to the head early on and it was Exeter who looked to set the early tone in attack. Winger Jack Nowell's first real raid brought an early penalty chance for the home side, but Steenson was unable to land the lengthy kick.

The visitors made the most of that let-off and took the lead when Ransom, on as the replacement for Hodgson, applied the finish following a surging run from Chris Ashton that cut through the heart of the home defence. Goode added the extras to give the Londoners a seven-point advantage.

The Chiefs rallied well and came within a whisker of claiming a swift response through Whitten. After a slick handling move from the hosts, the ball was worked from left to right to Nowell. He in turn fed Whitten, who, despite taking the ball at pace, was adjudged - via the TV match official - to have been felled just short of the line.

Steenson was sent to the sin-bin on 28 minutes for a deliberate knockdown, and it allowed Goode to extend the visitors' lead to 10 points with a routine penalty.

Responded brightly

Although down a man, the Chiefs again responded brightly as they threatened the visiting line once more. Saracens did well to swamp the home attacks, but, when a scrum was dropped by prop Richard Barrington, it allowed Dollman to land Exeter's first points of the day with a 22-metre penalty.

But, no sooner had Rob Baxter's side brought themselves back to within range, they conceded a needless penalty in front of their own posts for pulling back, and up stepped Goode to slot the resultant kick.

With 10 points to make up, the Devon club knew they needed a strong start to the second period - and they got it as Steenson landed an early penalty after the visitors were pulled up for not releasing following strong breaks from Dean Mumm, Nowell and Dave Ewers.

But once again they let Saracens counter through Argentinian centre Bosch, whose penalty from just inside his own half just snuck over via the crossbar.

Steenson and Bosch both saw further penalty chances fail to hit the target, before the Chiefs threatened again, and the home side's efforts were finally rewarded with 10 minutes remaining as Steenson landed a third penalty.

The Chiefs now had the bit between their teeth and, when Nowell created havoc with a superb kick return, the home side worked the ball through countless phases to Johnson, who appeared to crash over for a crucial score.

Again referee Tim Wigglesworth went upstairs for the spot check - and again the TMO ruled against Exeter.

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Aviva Premiership
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton

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Phil Edwards

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