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Sunday, November 7, 1999 Published at 19:35 GMT

Sport: Rugby Union

Sarries swat Wasps to go top

Thierry Lacroix: Kicked a record nine penalties

Saracens 27-26 Wasps

Saracens have returned to the top of Allied Dunbar Premiership one after former France fly-half Thierry Lacroix kicked them to the narrowest of victories over Wasps.

It was a new record for Lacroix, who slotted nine kicks - all of his side's points - to overcome a full-strength Wasps outfit, featuring Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Worsley and Kenny Logan.

Saracens coach Alan Zondagh will feel fully vindicated for his high-risk strategy of resting his international stars for another week following their return from World Cup duty.


By contrast, Wasps will be kicking themselves for losing a match in which they scored three tries, purely because they gave away too many needless penalties.

The contest started well for the visitors, who sent Samoan international hooker Trevor Leota over for a try on the stroke of six minutes.

Unforced errors disrupted play and the match dissolved into a fairly dour spectacle as both sides chose to knock over penalties rather than run the ball.

Flanker Paul Volley livened up proceedings as he crossed for Wasps second try, then Leota bagged his brace just before half time.

But Lacroix kept punishing the visitors' indiscretions, kicking 15 points in the first half and a further 12 in the second.

England colleagues Joe Worsley for Wasps and Danny Grewcock for Saracens were sin-binned for brawling - Grewcock after he had only be on the pitch for five minutes. Nonethless, the 14-man game failed to lead to any more tries.

Logan and Lacroix exchanged penalties and the lead three times in the last 10 minutes, with Saracens the eventual winners of a patchy and relatively unenthralling spectacle.


Saracens: Thirlby, Constable, Thompson, Sorrell, O'Mahony, Lacroix, Walshe, Flatman, Chuter, White, Chesney, Davison, Hill, Pienaar, Diprose
Replacements: Powell, Leek, Wallace, Cairns, Grewcock, Cole, Shanklin

Wasps: Lewsey, Sampson, Henderson, Denney, Logan, King, Wood, Molloy, Leota, Green, Weedon, Shaw, Worsley, Volley, Dallaglio
Replacements: Shelbourne, Ufton, Scrase, Scrivener, Reed, Macer, Le Chevalier

Referee: T Fisher (RFU)

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