Fourteen-man Saracens showed incredible fortitude as they drew with Exeter
The game turned after 10 minutes as Sarries prop Richard Barrington was sent off
Titi Lamositele’s late converted try ensured the champions got a share of the spoils
Saracens came from behind to draw 13-13 with Exeter Chiefs despite having prop Richard Barrington red carded early on his 100th appearance.
Sarries had got the better of the Chiefs in each of the last four meetings between the sides including a victory at Sandy Park and of course their success in last season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby final.
But the hosts were up against it early on after Barrington, despite being the second tackler, was sent off after his shoulder made clear contact with the head of Geoff Parling.
Red card Richard Barrington Saracens v Exeter pic.twitter.com/9aOErsiBCj
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But Saracens were lucky not to lose two players in the same incident as Brad Barritt’s earlier tackle also looked to be dangerous.
Steenson kicked the resulting penalty to give the visitors the lead before soon after, a wonderful crossfield chip was taken one-handed at full stretch by England winger Jack Nowell as he dotted down in the corner for the games opening score. And Steenson was again on target with a stunning kick from the touchline, 10-0.
Alex Lozowski pulled back three points for Sarries but it took some outstanding defence from the champions to keep Exeter in sight heading into half-time.
Saracens performed admirably after the break with Lozowski kicking a second penalty before Steenson replied, 6-13.
But the Champions grabbed a share of the spoils after Titi Lamositele was forced over late on with Lozowski keeping his cool to kick the crucial conversion.
Exeter threw everything at their hosts in the final stages, but Steenson’s late drop goal attempt from 45 metres out was well wide.