Saracens 26-19 Bath

Owen Farrell
Farrell had a mixed day with the boot, landing four of eight penalty attempts

Second-placed Saracens staged a stunning fightback to overcome the challenge of plucky Bath.

Stephen Donald crossed over and converted for Bath early on.

Owen Farrell converted Steve Borthwick's try, only for a Donald penalty to put Bath back ahead before Farrell notched two penalties.

After the break, Farrell added two further penalties and Chris Wyles went over but Tom Heathcote's three scores ensured Bath took a losing point.

The game, which was the 2,000th in the Premiership, got off to an exciting start as Kiwi Donald gathered a loose ball before darting between the posts for the visitors.

Sarries had a chance to get on the board a few minutes later but Farrell's penalty came back off the upright before the hosts lost prop Rhys Gill to the sin bin for a scrum offence.

They made light of their numerical disadvantage though as Borthwick powered over from close in and Farrell converted to level the scores with Gill off the field.

Donald kicked Bath back into the lead, with Farrell then seeing a penalty rebound off the woodwork for the second time shortly afterwards.

Farrell atoned for his misses with a brace of scores before the interval to give Sarries a 13-10 lead at half-time.

Heathcote was on target with his second penalty of the day after Farrell had extended the hosts' lead when play resumed.

After Farrell missed a further two penalty attempts Wyles broke through two tackles before touching down, Farrell converting to effectively make the game safe.

He and Heathcote then exchanged penalties before Heathcote had the final say with his third penalty of the day to earn his team a bonus point.


Saracens rugby director Mark McCall: "I'm pleased because we played some very good running rugby against a Bath side who came here with their tails up after a good win last week, and who made a flying start.

"So it was important that we fought back to equalise when down to 14 men for Gill's yellow card and the performances of Alex Goode, David Strettle - back to his electrifying best - Andy Saull and Steve Borthwick were especially pleasing.

"Steve has never given up on England and making a comeback. He is playing so well, yet is someone rarely mentioned in terms of the squad. If England came calling for his experience among what may be a young squad, he would never say no."

Bath coach Martin Haag: "We should have been 14-0 up shortly before they made it 7-7 - because we were on their line and the scrum went down.

"The referee shouted for us to 'use it', yet he then carded Rhys Gill and we should have had a penalty try.

"It descended into a bit of a farce in the scrums, which is not unusual these days. You need to know that things will be consistent."


Saracens: Goode; Strettle, Farrell, B. Barritt, Wyles; Hodgson, Spencer; Gill, Smit, Stevens; Borthwick, Botha; Wray, Saull, Joubert.

Replacements: Short for Strettle (71), Powell for Hodgson (71), Stringer for Spencer (54), George for Gill (67), Nieto for Stevens (30), Kruis for Borthwick (71), Melck for Joubert (54), Du Plessis for Nieto (78).

Sin Bin: Gill (16).

Bath: Abendanon; Woodburn, Carraro, Banahan, Biggs; Donald, Claassens; Catt, Batty, Perenise; Attwood, Caldwell; Beattie, Louw, Taylor.

Replacements: Heathcote for Donald (44), Beech for Catt (51), Dixon for Batty (64), Wilson for Perenise (51), Skirving for Beattie (55).

Att: 5,799

Ref: Pascal Gauzere (France).