Bath 0-22 Saracens

Bath (0) 0

Saracens (16) 22

  • Tries: Wigglesworth
  • Con: Hodgson
  • Pens: Hodgson 5

Saracens' Charlie Hodgson kicked 17 points in dire conditions at Bath to keep them second in the Premiership.

The ex-England fly-half masterminded a 16-point half-time lead, along with Richard Wigglesworth's try, as Stephen Donald missed three shots at goal.

Chances were slim after the interval and, although Hodgson was off target with two second-half attempts, he boosted his side's lead by six points.

Bath's forwards put up a creditable fight but Sarries were never stretched.

The result briefly took Saracens top of the Premiership table, but Harlequins regained their one-point lead with a win at Northampton in Saturday's late kick off.

The wet weather at The Rec dictated that the match would be dominated by kicking and the visitors adapted their game the better.

Bath's inaccuracy out of hand allowed Sarries to establish their superior kick-chase and a regimented defence helped the visitors prevail.

Saracens loss a 'hiccup' - Booth

In addition Sarries skipper, and former Bath man, Steve Borthwick marshalled a faultless line-out display that was all the more impressive given the conditions.

Hodgson missed a snatched drop-goal on 14 minutes but made amends two minutes later from the tee as he provided onlookers with a master class of wet-weather kicking.

And he turned creator for the only try when his nimble footwork and inside pass to Dave Strettle saw Wigglesworth go over.

The conversion established a 10-point margin with just a quarter of the game gone and Bath never looked like making a comeback from that point on.

Donald was out of sorts with the boot but Hodgson hit a second long-range three-pointer 12 minutes before the break and a third five minutes later to make it 16-0 at the break.

Bath's forwards took the game to Saracens in the second half, with the front row providing the only meaningful resistance.

Ben Williams gave away the first penalty of the second half after 23 minutes when he failed to roll away and Hodgson slotted an easy kick in front of the posts.

Two more attempts by the Saracens man were wayward but of no consequence, as Hodgson landed a fifth, in a comprehensive win.

The drubbing comes after six Bath players signed new deals at the Rec.

Williams, Matt Banahan, Ryan Caldwell, Nathan Catt, Carl Fearns and Lee Mears have all committed their futures to the club.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOMS

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"We were clinical in all parts of our game. To get a 16-0 lead at half-time was probably well deserved.

"I think it's kind of irrelevant who's top of the table at the halfway point.

"We've played seven away games so we've got four proper away games to go and hopefully we'll have six games at our new home.

"To be where we are after 11 games - seven of which have been away from home and two of them in other places - is a pretty good effort."

Bath defence coach Mike Ford:

"Fair play to them, they gave us a lesson today.

"I think the killer blow was the try. Once you go 10 points down, especially in conditions like that against a team of Saracens' ilk, then it's very, very difficult to pull it back.

"Their defence is outstanding isn't it? Any time they were in our half, second half, they kicked three points.

"It's a good lesson for us about how to play the conditions, really."

LINE-UPS

Bath: Abendanon; Agulla, Eastmond, Williams, Biggs; Donald, Claassens; James, Mears, Wilson, Hooper, Day, Louw, Mercer, Taylor.

Replacements: Hipkiss for Williams (60), Beech for James (77), Dunn for Mears (65), Perenise for Wilson (77), Attwood for Day (65).

Saracens: Wyles; Ashton, Tomkins, Farrell, Strettle; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; Vunipola, Brits, Stevens, Borthwick, Botha, Kruis, Fraser, Brown.

Replacements: Short for Ashton (66), Taylor for Strettle (71), de Kock for Wigglesworth (50), Gill for Vunipola (50), George for Brits (65), Du Plessis for Stevens (65), Sheriff for Borthwick (73), Saull for Fraser (60).

Att: 12,200

Ref: Greg Gardner (RFU).