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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Sunday, 26 December 2010

Saracens 13-6 Wasps

Saracens (3) 13
Try: Saull Cons: Farrell Pens: Farrell 2
Wasps (0) 6
Pens: Walder 2

Gavin Henson
Henson's last appearance on a rugby pitch was in March 2009

Gavin Henson marked his return to rugby by helping Saracens to victory on his debut against Wasps at Wembley.

Henson's fellow second-half substitute Andy Saull scored the only try of the game, teenage stand-off Owen Farrell kicking Sarries' other eight points.

But Henson almost made it a fairy-tale return, denied a try only by a stunning tackle by Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson.

After going in 3-0 down at the break, Wasps' six points came from Dave Walder's two second-half penalties.

The only score of a dull first half came from the boot of Farrell, who landed an easy penalty.

But Saracens made a great start to the second half as they made good use of their bench.

From scrum-half Neil De Kock's clever offload, flanker Saull stumbled his way to the line for his second try at Wembley this season, Farrell improving to open up a 10-point lead.

Then, within five minutes of his introduction after 21 months out of the game, Henson almost made it a sensational comeback with a try.

Henson had not been seen on a rugby field since picking up an ankle injury while playing for former club Ospreys against Gloucester in the EDF Energy Cup semi-final in March 2009. And, cashing in on loose handling down the Wasps line, he was presented with a 20-yard dash to the line.

But scrum-half Simpson reacted sharpest to deny the Welsh star, smothering him and rolling him onto his back with the sort of two-step rarely seen on any dance floor.


Walder offered Wasps hope with two penalties to reduce the deficit to 13-6, but Farrell landed his third routine kick of the afternoon to restore Sarries' seven-point cushion.

While Sarries climb to second in the table, Wasps left Wembley with a bonus point for their first Premiership defeat since the 37-10 mauling at home to Northampton in October.

Saracens: Wyles; Strettle, Tagicakibau, Barritt, Short; Farrell, de Kock; Carstens, Brits, Nieto; Borthwick (capt), Vyvyan; Brown, Melck, Joubert.

Replacements: George, Gill, du Plessis, Smith, Saull, Wigglesworth, Henson, Goode.

Wasps: van Gisbergen; Varndell, Jacobs (capt), Kefu, Lemi; Walder, Simpson; Taulafo, Lindsay, Broster, Shaw, Cannon, Worsley, Betsen Tchoua, Powell.

Replacements: Hobson, Payne, Baker, Veale, Jones, Berry, Jewell, Haughton.

Referee: Tim Wrigglesworth (RFU).

Attendance: 38,421.

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see also
Henson desperate for Wales return
26 Dec 10 |  Saracens
Henson happy with winning return
26 Dec 10 |  English
Guscott's predictions
27 Dec 10 |  English
Henson eager for Saracens debut
20 Dec 10 |  Saracens
Wasps 24-12 Exeter
05 Dec 10 |  English
Saracens 26-14 Harlequins
05 Dec 10 |  English

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