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Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton suffered their first home defeat of the season, going down 16-6 to Saracens at Franklin's Gardens.
Owen Farrell slotted over three penalties and converted Alex Goode's try to help end Saints' perfect record, the hosts only responding with three points apiece from Stephen Myler and Ryan Lamb.
There was a worrying start for the Northampton front row as they lost their own scrum on their 22. But Dylan Hartley made up for it by getting over Brad Barritt to win a penalty on his try-line after opposite number Schalk Brits looked to have set up a try when he offloaded five metres out.
Nevertheless, with the help of a strong wind Farrell put Saracens 3-0 in front with a penalty from the halfway line after eight minutes.
Some good work on the right wing from the Pisi brothers got the home side into the Saracens 22 and a shot at the posts. George Pisi flicked a pass out of the back of his hand to brother Ken who nipped past a tackler before Saints won a penalty at a ruck, allowing Myler to make it 3-3.
When Ken Pisi gave the ball away Saracens counter-attacked to score the game's opening try after 26 minutes.
Brits nipped on the outside of Soane Tonga'uiha to send Joel Tomkins free on the right wing and his inside pass put Goode over. Farrell made no mistake with the conversion.
Saints came out for the second half without captain Hartley, but the pack still turned over a Saracens scrum and the resulting attack earned them a penalty for Lamb, now kicking in swirling rain, to trim the lead to 10-6.
Saracens were winning the important battle at the ruck, however, and their suffocating defence earned them further penalties for Farrell to make it 16-6. The positive result lifts them top of the table, two points clear of Saints.
|Saturday 8th March|
|12:30||Northampton vs Saracens|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th March|
|15:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|Saturday 5th April|
|18:30||Ulster vs Saracens|
|Sunday 13th April|
|14:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|Sunday 20th April|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|Saturday 3rd May|
|15:00||Saracens vs Worcester|
|Saturday 10th May|
|15:15||Leicester vs Saracens|
|Friday 28th February|
|Bath 10 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 23rd February|
|Saracens 23 - 10 Exeter|
|Friday 14th February|
|Sale Sharks 10 - 15 Saracens|
|Saturday 8th February|
|Saracens 13 - 22 London Irish|
|Saturday 1st February|
|Northampton 20 - 16 Saracens|
|Sunday 26th January|
|Saracens 41 - 8 Newcastle|
|Saturday 18th January|
|Saracens 64 - 6 Connacht|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com