Saracens 32 Sale 12: Strettle stars for Sarries to storm back into England reckoning
18:25 GMT, 6 January 2013
21:44 GMT, 6 January 2013
Forgotten wing David Strettle fired Saracens to success over struggling Sale in the absence of England full back Alex Goode, who is now an injury doubt for the Six Nations.
Goode missed Saracens’ final Aviva Premiership match at Vicarage Road with a shoulder injury picked up three weeks ago against Munster.
Mark McCall, Saracens director of rugby, said Goode needs another two or three weeks of rehabilitation before he is likely to play again.
Star: Strettle scores Saracens' first try
He said: ‘At the minute we are looking at the non-surgical route but it all depends on how his rehab goes.
‘If he makes the progress they (the
medics) hope, he’s got a great chance of making the Six Nations, but
England may want him to play a game or two.’
Goode could yet be joined in the England squad by Strettle, who lost his place last summer due to a hernia operation.
Spot on: Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Toby Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle
Stuart Lancaster has no worries about the goal-kicking of Owen Farrell, who scored 22 points.
Eight from eight kicks took his Premiership ‘hot streak’ to 20.
He also weathered the attempts of Sale’s heavyweight centres Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou to power past him.
England centre Brad Barritt had another solid match and provided the pass for David Strettle’s try.
McCall hopes his decision to switch Strettle to the left wing might prompt a return to the squad to be announced on Wednesday.
McCall said: ‘David has really
relished the chance to play on the left wing and England don’t have any
out-and-out natural left wingers.’
Strettle showed his try-scoring
ability here by breaking through a stubborn Sale defence in the 62nd
minute of a match dominated until then by the goal-kicking of Owen
Farrell and Danny Cipriani.
Saracens finally cracked the Sale
midfield by using Farrell and substitute Charlie Hodgson as decoy
runners, which allowed Brad Barritt to put Strettle in the clear.
Scrap: Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield
Strettle also delivered the final act
by neatly placing a grubber kick through the Sale defence for Hodgson
to score the second try 10 minutes from time.
Saracens moved second, two points behind Harlequins.