Bath 12-25 Saracens: Owen Farrell stars as champions start to chip away at points deduction
As Saracens started to chip away at their Gallagher Premiership points deduction using a 25-12 win at Bath, england captain Owen Farrell kicked 20 points.
The winners came into the Rec at near full strength for the first time since accepting their 35-point deduction and #5.4m ok for breaching salary cap rules.
Toilet had plenty of land but lacked the kind of superior possession that Saracens created for the game’s only try, finished off with wing Sean Maitland on 33 minutes.
Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola were making their first appearances for Saracens while Elliot Daly produced his first league start after his move out of Wasps in the summer.
The home side, evidenced by knee injuries into skipper England wing Anthony Watson Charlie Ewels and No 8 Zach Mercer, handed the captaincy into World Cup winner Francois Louw. Just another of the eye-catching performers of the tournament, sam Underhill, joined him.
They looked to regain the kind that afforded home wins over Exeter and Northampton. They’d won the past few meetings at the league from Saracens.
After Mako Vunipola was penalised in a Saracens scrum put-in priestland kicked at Bath. Farrell levelled the scores around 10 minutes for Priestland to kick at back his side in front from short variety.
Farrell made it 6-6 on 17 minutes with referee Karl Dickens strictly policing encroachments about the line.
Toilet generated a lot of the steam rising from the two packs in the night air. They won lots of rucks but not slickly enough and the reward for a lengthy spell of pressure proved to be a penalty for Priestland after Daly’s no-arms undertake on Semesa Rokoduguni.
The lead was short-lived Itoje created a burst that is telling and as Saracens abruptly additional power and pace. Quick ruck ball discovered Maitland in distance global touched after a sublime sidestep.
Farrell converted and added a penalty which gave the people a 16-9 advantage in the break.
Was a lucky escape for Bath soon because they attempted to rush out the ball from their line and Rokoduguni’s clearance kick was charged down. Saracens kept the strain and Farrell landed his fourth penalty.
Full-back Tom Homer provided a peek of attacking possible using a 60-metre break that was searing but Saracens scrambled back to kill the threat. Farrell and priestland then swapped penalties again to make it 22-12.
A Bath were being regularly penalised at the breakdown, and while in possession or defending, and Farrell acquired a punishment that was sixth.
A yellow card for play ruled Itoje but Bath could not earn a losing bonus point.