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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 16:55 GMT
Bath 6-13 Saracens
Saracens wing Richard Haughton dives over for the only try of the game
Bath (3) 6
Pens: Barkley (2)
Saracens (10) 16
Try: Haughton
Con: Jackson
Pens: Jackson (2)
A prolific performance from Saracens' pack proved good enough to keep Bath at bay in Saturday's Premiership tie.

Sarries managed just one try - in the first half from wing Richard Haughton - but were aided by eight points from the boot of fly-half Glen Jackson.

For all their efforts, Bath, who began the day in fourth place, never looked liked crossing their rivals' try line.

In the end, their only points came from playmaker Olly Barkley, who kicked two penaltes in the match.

Both sides started the game without their captains - Bath skipper Jonathan Humphreys and opposite number Alex Sanderson pulling out with respective injuries.

Humphreys' absence seemed to have a greater effect - his pack looking directionless without him - while Saracens' Taine Randell produced a scintillating display to cover up any gaps left by Sanderson's late withdrawal.

Randell and Kyran Bracken were singled out by coach Steve Diamond after the win.

Diamond said: "We joke that the two of them are like tubes of toothpaste with very little left in them. You try to squeeze out the best bits when you really need it."

They dogged it out really well and Bracken played the conditions
Bath boss John Connolly

Barkley put Bath ahead with a penalty after three minutes, which Jackson cancelled out 20 minutes later.

The only real moment of flair in the afternoon came in first-half injury time. Thomas Castaignede charged down the right touchline before sending Haughton hurtling through with an overhead pass.

Jackson added a simple conversion and stretched the lead to 13 points with a penalty 10 minutes into the lead.

Barkley cut the deficit late on but his second penalty did little to deter Saracens.

Bath boss John Connolly said Saracens had used the dire weather "conditions better than we did".

"Even at 10-3 down at half time, we were reasonably confident, but they dogged it out really well and Bracken played the conditions," he said.

"There was enough effort out there at times but we just made too many mistakes."


Bath: Perry, Welsh, Crockett, Barkley, Daniel, Malone, Walshe, Barnes, Mears, Stevens, Borthwick, Grewcock, Beattie, Scaysbrook, Fea'unati.
Replacements: Ward, Bell, Fidler, Lipman, Williams, Davis, Maddock.

Saracens: Bartholomeusz; Haughton, Castaignede, Harris, Vaikona; Jackson, Bracken; Yates, Cairns, Visagie; Fullarton, Raiwalui; Randell, Seymour, Skirving
Replacements (from): Kyriacou, Lloyd, Chesney, Skirving, Williams, Sorrell, Bailey, Broster.

Referee: Roy Maybank (Kent)




SEE ALSO
Sale 19-10 Bath
27 Dec 04 |  English
Saracens 8-8 Harlequins
24 Dec 04 |  English


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