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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wasps 15-26 Saracens

Wasps (12) 15
Pens: Walder 5
Saracens (11) 26
Try: Saull Pens: Goode 7

Richard Wigglesworth
Saracens adapted their game well to the wet conditions at Adams Park

Alex Goode kicked 21 points as second-place Saracens gained a first win at Adams Park where Wasps had three men sent to the sin-bin.

In a game dominated by the boot, Sarries flanker Andy Saull scored the only try after two minutes.

Goode kicked six points for an 11-0 lead but four Dave Walder penalties put the home side 12-11 up at half-time.

Walder added another three points but full-back Goode punished Wasps' indiscipline with five more penalties.

Saull had earned early reward for his support play when he went over after being set up by centre Brad Barritt, who had successfully chased fly-half Owen Farrell's high kick.

Soon afterwards Wasps lock Marty Veale was shown a yellow card for sparking a brawl after reacting to a high tackle on the wing David Lemi.

Goode then made up for missing the conversion by kicking two penalties inside the opening 15 minutes to put Saracens firmly in the ascendency.

But as the rain began to fall the slumbering home team revived and Walder put them on the scoreboard.

An intelligent kick through by Lemi, after some good attacking by Mark van Gisbergen, put the visitors under pressure and when they went off their feet at a ruck, Walder took advantage with another three points.

Lemi was on hand again, in defence this time, with a try-saving tackle when his challenge forced Ernst Joubert to knock on with the line beckoning.

Walder pulled the score back to 11-9 with a third kick after Goode missed a shot at goal for Sarries on the half-hour and the Wasps fly-half completed their comeback just before the interval with another three points following a collapsed scrum.

After the interval Goode re-established the visitors' lead with a 43-metre penalty.

Walder pulled another three points back before Goode's boot made it 17-15 to Sarries.

Goode added two more penalties, either side of Tim Payne being sent to the sin-bin for dangerous play at a line-out, to give his side an eight-point lead.

Wasps were then reduced to 13 men when flanker John Hart was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball out of Chris Wyles' hands.

However, the live video replay, being broadcast at the ground, showed it was a bad call by referee Greg Garner and drew boos from the Wasps fans.

Goode blocked out the crowd noise to land a 40-metre penalty and make the score 26-15 with a quarter of an hour to go.

Wasps rallied and went close as Ben Broster, Andy Powell and then Serge Betsen strived to power their way over from close in but, despite the worsening conditions, Saracens' excellent defence held firm.


Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards:
"We started horrifically and in the second half we were outsmarted by the opposing half-backs.

"Their kicking game was much more clinical than ours and it was pretty obvious we are a much better team in the dry.

"We showed a lack of nous in those conditions which our opponents didn't. They were very smart and intelligent with their kicking game.

"We went for a scrum when we were down to 14 players, which I found a peculiar decision.

"It's not a case of me shouting and screaming at anybody because everybody's obviously given 100% effort. It's about trying to educate players to make the right decisions at the right times."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:
"Everybody worked very hard and we were well managed by our half-backs in difficult conditions.

"Penalties conceded and yellow cards conceded generally come from pressure and, with the conditions, we set out to put Wasps under pressure.

"And I think we did that very well, we kicked very intelligently, we put the ball in the right parts of the pitch and that was backed up by an outstanding kick chase."


London Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Haughton, Waldouck, Flutey, Lemi; Walder, Simpson; Payne, Lindsay, Broster, Veale, Birkett, Hart, Betsen Tchoua, Powell.
Replacements: Wallace for van Gisbergen (70), Jacobs for Walder (61), Beech for Payne (74), Ward for Lindsay (67), Launchbury for Veale (70).
Not Used: Taulafo, Jones, Berry.

Sin Bin: Veale (5), Payne (56), Hart (65).

Saracens: Goode; Strettle, Penney, Barritt, Wyles; Farrell, Wigglesworth; Gill, Brits, Nieto, Borthwick, Smith, Melck, Saull, Joubert.
Replacements: Powell for Penney (67), de Kock for Wigglesworth (51), George for Brits (74), Saunders for Nieto (70), Botha for Smith (51), Wray for Melck (76), Stevens for Saull (55).
Not Used: Short.

Att: 7,489

Ref: Greg Garner (RFU).



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see also
Saracens 39-0 Leeds
20 Feb 11 |  English
Leicester 21-12 Wasps
19 Feb 11 |  English


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