Saracens 19-13 Bath: Table-toppers Sarries come from 13-0 down to secure dramatic victory over Bath
Charlie Hodgson helped Saracens complete a record comeback to secure a 19-13 win at Allianz Park.
Tom Homer’s try combined with eight points from Rhys Priestland’s boot gave Bath a surprise 13-0 lead at the break
Schalk Brits try combined with 14-points from Hodgson completed the turnaround
Premiership leaders Saracens came from 13-0 down at half-time to record a fine win over struggling Bath.
Bath put in a brilliant defensive display for all of 70 minutes, before a Schalk Brits try helped the league leaders steal the victory.
The home side completed their biggest ever comeback in the Premiership, as Bath slumped to five defeats in a row as their poor form continues.
Sarries are now seven points clear at the top of the Premiership table thanks to that victory, with second-placed Exeter in action at Worcester tomorrow.
An early break through midfield by Matt Banahan gave Bath a line-out and sets up a decent attacking platform for the visitors and Sarries soon after were ruled offside with Rhys Priestland taking the points to give Bath an early lead.
The visitors were then in dreamland after 13 minutes after debutant Bowden’s sharp pass to Homer put the fullback in for an excellently worked try. Priestland then added the extras by curling in beautifully from the left-hand touchline to give the hosts a rather unexpected 10-0 lead.
Bath get a penalty on the brink of half-time as Saracens drag down a maul and Rhys Priestland extends the visitors’ advantage heading into the break, 0-13.
As the Londoners looked for a way back in to the game, Charlie Hodgson failed to slot an early second-half penalty, before seeing his next two sail through the posts to bring them within seven points, 6-13.
After a powerful break from Maro Itoje, South-African prop Brits reached for the whitewash on 70 minutes to score the home side’s first try.
Hodgson’s conversion brought the teams level with ten minutes to go, before he slotted a penalty just moments later to take Saracens into the lead for the first time in the game.
Another penalty from Hodgson took his side out of the reach of a single score, before David Wilson was shown his way to the sin bin to round off a nightmare second half for Mike Ford’s side.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: Charlie Hodgson
Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Duncan Taylor, 13 Marcelo, Bosch 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Nick Tompkins.
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 David Wilson, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Alafoti Faosiliva, 22 Jonathan Evans, 23 Max Clark.
Date: Saturday, January 30
Venue: Allianz Park
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald, Andy Watson
TMO: Geoffrey Warren