Wasps 16-26 Saracens: Owen Farrell’s 21-point haul in win against Wasps puts Saracens back on top of the Aviva Premiership
Saracens returned to the top of the Premiership with a 26-16 victory over Wasps
The visitors held a narrow lead at the break through two Owen Farrell penalties
Gopperth and Elliot Daly brought Wasps level at 9-9
Two tries in four minutes from Duncan Taylor and Owen Farrell secured the victory for Sarries after the break
Saracens regained top spot in the Aviva Premiership as they maintained their unbeaten start to the season with an impressive 26-16 victory against Wasps in front of a bumper crowd at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.
The result sees Saracens maintain their 100% record in the Premiership as they move above Exeter by two points to move back to the top.
Mark McCall’s men, who had won their opening ten games of the 2015/16 season in all competitions, were impressive from the off with the likes of Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola causing the hosts all sorts of problems.
Sarries though, despite their overwhelming dominance in the opening 40, only took a narrow 6-3 lead into half-time as RUCK’s man of the match Owen Farrell outscored Jimmy Gopperth two penalties to one.
Nevertheless, two second half tries in a four-minute period managed to put the visitors on course for a ninth consecutive win against Wasps.
First Scotland international Duncan Taylor latched onto the ball and burst through a tackle to dive over before the centre turned provider as his inside offload to Owen Farrell give the fly-half a clear run to dive over between the posts.
Wasps though did get a consolation try late on as one-Test All Blacks cap winger Frank Halai dived over following some crisp passing from the hosts.
Saracens put Wasps under pressure right from the kickoff and took the lead with Farrell slotting a penalty after just two minutes.
The visitors then muscled their way up the pitch through a series of scrums before Farrell eventually kicked another penalty to double the visitors advantage with eight minutes gone, 0-6.
Gopperth then took Wasps past 10,000 Premiership points with a penalty to cut Saracens lead in half just after the half hour.
Daly’s long-distance attempt from the tee then fell just short from 55m as the home side went into half-time trailing 6-3.
After the break, Wasps continued their resurgence by drawing level four minutes after the restart compliments of a spectacular penalty from half way from Daly.
Wasps though weren’t level for long as Farrell responded with a kick of his own a minute later, 6-9.
Gopperth managed to get the hosts level again from the tee, however, Saracens were back in front when they opened the try-scoring after 58 minutes as Scotland international Taylor glided through the Wasps defence to touch down with Farrell adding the extras.
Try number two followed three minutes later as Taylor turned provider to offload to Farrell on the inside with the England number 10 having a free run to five over between the posts.
The fly-half then added the conversion and a further penalty to take his total to 21 points and give the visitors a 15 point lead.
Wasps though did get a consolation score late on as winger Halai dived over following some crisp passing from the hosts with Gopperth adding the extras to complete the games scoring, 16-26.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: Owen Farrell
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Edd Shervington, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Marcelo Bosch
Date: Sunday, December 27
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell, Roger Baileff
TMO: Trevor Fisher