Bristol buried by Sarries
Bristol find themselves now seven points adrift at the bottom of the Guinness Premiership after losing 37-13 to Saracens.
Last Updated: 11/01/09 7:33pm
Saracens heaped more misery on Bristol with an emphatic 37-13 win over the Guinness Premiership's bottom club at Vicarage Road.
Fly-half Glen Jackson kicked 15 points for the hosts, who managed to pick up a bonus point thanks to two tries in each half.
Bristol did manage a try of their own through Scott Linklater, but their hopes of climbing up the league received a double blow on Sunday.
Not only did they slip to a 10th loss of the campaign but their nearest rivals Newcastle humbled high-flying Gloucester at Kingston Park.
The two results mean Richard Hill's side now find themselves seven points adrift of their nearest rivals and in serious danger of slipping out of the top flight.
Any hopes of an upset result on their travels were dashed by half time as Saracens built up a commanding 23-7 advantage thanks to two tries in the space of five minutes.
Italy prop Matias Aguero grabbed the first when he forced his way over and that was quickly followed by an effort from Brad Barritt, a November signing from the Sharks who was making his first start.
Jackson converted both and also landed three penalties, two of them coming in the space of 60 seconds, in the final 10 minutes before the interval.
Bristol had briefly given themselves a ray of hope when Linklater went over in the right corner though it proved to be the hooker's last real contribution, as he went off injured only four minutes later.
It was a cruel blow for a team already without an entire front row through injury, as well as suspended winger David Lemi who was cited for a dangerous tackle last week.
Finding themselves up against a makeshift pack, Sarries turned the screw in the second half and created plenty of chances to ram home their advantage.
After Ed Barnes landed a 47th-minute penalty for the away team, Saracens responded with their third try through Ben Skirving, the number eight marking his return to the starting line-up with a close range effort.
Jackson continued his perfect kicking record with the conversion off the far post and although Barnes landed his second penalty, there was still more misery to come for poor Bristol.
Replacement David Blaney was sin-binned for killing the ball and Sarries cashed in through England captain Steve Borthwick, Gordon Ross adding the extras having replaced Jackson.