Tag Archives: sarries

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Schalk Brits ready to face Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller

Pride at stake for Brits as Sarries hooker goes head-to-head with fellow Boks

-13.

Main man: Ulster rely heavily on Pienaar's creativity

Main man: Ulster rely heavily on Pienaar's creativity

Brits said: ‘I’ve been blessed with no injuries, and for the first time in two years I don’t feel over-played.

‘The club look after us unbelievably well and in return all we can do is to work very, very hard on the pitch.

‘That’s not been flashy. If it means making 20 tackles or hitting 20 rucks to ensure we win then that’s what we will do.’

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Saracens 32 Sale 12: David Strettle stars to storm back into England reckoning

Saracens 32 Sale 12: Strettle stars for Sarries to storm back into England reckoning

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

18:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

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.

ar: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

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.

Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

Spot on: Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Toby Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

ENGLAND WATCH

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.

Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

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.

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Sale 16 Saracens 23: Charlie Hodgson impresses

Sale 16 Saracens 23: Hodgson makes it an unhappy housewarming party

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UPDATED:

19:17 GMT, 8 September 2012

Charlie Hodgson again returned to haunt Sale, whose first Aviva Premiership game at their Salford City Stadium home ended in defeat.

Hodgson kicked Saracens to victory last season with 20 points at Edgeley Park.

Battle: Charlie Hodgson is tackled by Danny Cipriani

Battle: Charlie Hodgson is tackled by Danny Cipriani

On Saturday the veteran fly-half, now retired from England duty, landed 18 points.

Hodgson and opposite number Danny
Cipriani, making his home debut following his move from Melbourne
Rebels, kicked all the first-half points from penalties as the visitors
led 12-9 at the break.

New home: The Salford City Stadium

New home: The Salford City Stadium

Wing Will Addison's breakaway try
briefly put Sale ahead, but summer signing Chris Ashton's third try in
two games for Sarries and Hodgson's boot earned victory.

Sale had to wait an extra 15 minutes
to begin Premiership life at their new ground, which has an artificial
pitch like the one Saracens will play on at their new Allianz Park home
from the start of next year, as a traffic accident nearby put kick-off
back to 4.45pm.

Dodge: Chris Wyles evades the tackle of Kearnan Myall

Dodge: Chris Wyles evades the tackle of Kearnan Myall

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Andy Farrell"s England future in limbo as RFU talks stall

Farrell's England future in limbo as RFU talks with Saracens stall

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 11 April 2012

Stuart Lancaster's hopes of retaining Andy Farrell in his England management team are in the balance as talks with Saracens have stalled.

While forwards coach Graham Rowntree is on a rolling RFU contract, Farrell has returned to his job as head coach at Sarries, where his contract has at least two years to run.

Centre of attention: England's hopes of retaining Farrell hang firmly in the balance

Centre of attention: England's hopes of retaining Farrell hang firmly in the balance

When the RFU opened talks with Saracens, the club made it plain that they wished negotiations to be conducted with urgency to prevent a distraction at the business end of the season.

However, four days after they went out of the Heineken Cup, there has been precious little progress in resolving Farrell's future.

Privately, Saracens are dismayed by the RFU's apparent lack of urgency.

Furthermore, Sportsmail understands that Farrell has not shown an inclination to drive through a move to Twickenham on a full-time basis, with sources suggesting the 36-year-old is content to develop in the club game.

Eliminated: Saracens were dumped out of the Heineken Cup at the weekend

Eliminated: Saracens were dumped out of the Heineken Cup at the weekend

Meanwhile, Wasps have responded to the looming threat of administration by attempting to conduct business as usual with the confirmation of four signings for next season.

Lions fly-half Stephen Jones has joined them from the Scarlets, while they have also picked up back-rower Ashley Johnson from the Cheetahs in South Africa, Leeds prop Phil Swainston and Ospreys prop Will Taylor.

Wales hooker Lloyd Burns has been forced to retire at 27 after the discovery that he has a heart condition which may require surgery.

Former England centre Shontayne Hape is seeking medical advice about a knee injury which has ended his season at London Irish and is threatening to finish his career at the age of 31.

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Saracens 19 Harlequins 24: Quins march on in front of record crowd at Wembley

Saracens 19 Harlequins 24: Quins march on in front of record crowd at Wembley

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UPDATED:

18:33 GMT, 31 March 2012

League leaders Harlequins dealt a massive blow to Saracens' hopes of retaining their Aviva Premiership crown in front of a world-record crowd at Wembley on Saturday.

Conor O'Shea's side outscored their hosts three tries to one to stretch their lead at the top of the table to six points and leave Saracens facing the prospect of a visit to Leicester's Welford Road in the play-off semi-finals.

Quins took an early lead through Jordan Turner-Hall following an attack catalysed by a Nick Easter break, which stunned the partisan crowd.

Leading the way: Harlequins celebrate their win over Saracens at Wembley

Leading the way: Harlequins celebrate their win over Saracens at Wembley

That score seemed to work as a shot in the arm for Saracens as they quickly asserted dominance up front, earning three penalties which were duly converted by the boot of Owen Farrell to edge them in front.

A fantastic try-saving tackle from George Robson prevented a rampant Sarries from extending their advantage, but while Quins were struggling to get a stranglehold on possession and territory, they once again showed their ruthless streak as George Lowe finished with aplomb after some rapid and fluid ball-carrying from the pack. Nick Evans again converted.

An attritional spell of even rugby then followed the early flow of points as both Evans & Farrell missed gettable penalty chances, but Farrell was on hand to reduce the deficit to two points as the forwards once again earned a penalty.

Out of luck: Chris Wyles of Saracens is tackled by George Lowe of Harlequins and is denied a try

Out of luck: Chris Wyles of Saracens is tackled by George Lowe of Harlequins and is denied a try

If Saracens head coach Mark McCall was annoyed by his side's slow start to the first half, then he would have been infuriated as they once again handed the initiative to the visitors in the second – Rory Clegg converting from in front of the posts.

But unlike in the first period, Saracens weren't able to recover, as Danny Care touched down the decisive score on the overlap.

Saracens piled on the pressure after Quins prop Joe Marler was sin-binned for an infringement at a ruck, but on several occasions the final pass was lacking.

A view of the scoreboard as it announces the record crowd

A view of the scoreboard as it announces the record crowd

The hosts finally scored through England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, who picked up off of the back of a consistently dominant scrum to leave Quins with a nervy final quarter, especially once Care and Easter had also been binned for being caught cynically offside.

But Quins held on and now look assured of a home semi-final, while Saracens must rely on a Leicester slip-up if they are to earn one themselves and enhance their chances of retaining the Premiership title.

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Saracens 26 Bath 19: Sarries close in on Quins after 2,000th Premiership game

Saracens 26 Bath 19: Sarries close in on Quins after 2,000th Premiership game

Saracens staged a stirring fightback to beat Bath at Vicarage Road and move a step closer to Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins.

Owen Farrell kicked 16 points but missed another 12 in a hard-fought victory to mark the 2,000th Premiership game since Bath and Newcastle played the first on August 23, 1997.

It was clearly a big day for the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Farrell, David Strettle and Brad Barritt of Saracens, all the subject of England selection speculation in recent weeks. Equally, Bath duo Matt Banahan and Dave Attwood will have had Six Nations selection in mind on the back of last week's impressive 30-3 victory over London Irish.

Captain marvel: Borthwick crosses for Saracens

Captain marvel: Borthwick crosses for Saracens

But it was All Black World Cup-winning fly-half Stephen Donald who struck first in the fifth minute, finishing off a series of attacks by Bath sparked twice by scrum-half Michael Claassens and aided by Nick Abendanon.

Donald gathered a loose ball and darted between the posts before adding the conversion.

Saracens had an opportunity to get on the board in the ninth minute when French referee Pascal Gauzere penalised Bath for collapsing a scrum. But Farrell's penalty rebounded off the left-hand upright and was cleared.

Saracens lacked their usual sharpness during the opening exchanges whereas Bath threatened with ball in hand and forced their hosts to display their renowned defensive qualities a number of times during the opening 15 minutes.

Saracens lost prop Rhys Gill to the sin-bin on the quarter-hour mark for a scrum offence on his line, but Carlos Nieto came on for the next scrum and this time Bath offended by not releasing when Donald was tackled.

Hit and miss: Owen Farrell had an inconsistent day with the boot

Hit and miss: Owen Farrell had an inconsistent day with the boot

The home side hauled themselves level on
19 minutes when Strettle's break on the left left two defenders in his
wake. Strettle was tackled, but Saracens retained possession and former
England captain Steve Borthwick powered forward to score from close
range. Farrell's conversion levelled matters.

Bath regained the lead inside three minutes. Their opponents strayed offside on the edge of their 22 and Donald kicked the resultant penalty. You sensed it might be one of those days for Farrell when his 28th minute penalty attempt slammed against the same post as his first, and again flew clear.

But the centre made no mistake on 32 minutes, firing home high and dead-centre after Bath failed to release after being trapped trying to break off their own scrum.

Farrell then edged his team in front for the first time with a penalty two minutes from the interval.

The half ended with a spot of pushing
and shoving as the teams disappeared down the tunnel, a case of
handbags at half-time for no evident reason after a hard but clean first
half.

England hopeful: Brad Barritt takes on Francois Louw

England hopeful: Brad Barritt takes on Francois Louw

The elusive
Strettle posed a constant threat, and after two of his trademark darting
attacks, Bath were sucked into offside defence and Farrell increased
the home side's lead after 48 minutes.

Two minutes Saracens went off their feet at a ruck, and it was the turn of Tom Heathcote to bang a penalty attempt against the same post struck twice earlier by Farrell.

Bath continued to press, however, and when a careless knock-on by Alex Goode gave them a good platform, Heathcote got the chance to cut the lead with a 58th minute penalty awarded for not releasing.

Farrell missed his third kick of the game 90 seconds later, and his fourth – a very poor effort – from close range on 62 minutes.

But Saracens scored their second try on 69 minutes. Hodgson's pass left to Goode was whipped on to Chris Wyles, and the wing swept beyond the weak challenges of Abendanon and Banahan to score, Farrell converting.

The final stages of the game saw Heathcote rifle over two penalties either side of a Farrell score to earn the visitors a bonus point.