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Match Reaction: Saracens 34 Bath Rugby 24

Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson enjoyed watching his side come out on top in the vital areas as they beat Bath Rugby at Allianz Park.

The hosts survived a late fight-back as tries in the last ten minutes from Olly Woodburn and a second of the match from Semesa Rokoduguni threatened to bring Bath level.
 
But in the end tries Chris Wyles, Jamie George and Chris Ashton plus 16 points from the boot of Alex Goode and a sole Charlie Hodgson penalty proved enough for Saracens to emerge victorious.
 
And Sanderson was pleased with his side’s efforts following a month-long break from Aviva Premiership Rugby action.
 
He said: “When you play Bath you have got to win that set piece battle, they have been dominating in the scrum winning penalties and meters in the maul all season.
 
“We worked really hard with the forwards in the week battering against each other to near death and it paid dividends today.
 
“We know that Bath are without (David) Wilson and without (Paul) James but they have still got a lot of strength in depth so we are really happy with how the forwards went today.
 
“On the back of that the backs were really clinical in attack and were always making the right decisions that allowed us to score those tries.”
 
After a first-half where both sides struggled to get in to their stride Saracens were able to move up a gear scoring 15 points in the first ten minutes of the second half to move clear.  
 
Bath did threaten a fight-back but after they had got themselves to within seven of their opponents, further indiscipline allowed Goode the chance to deny them a bonus point with a late penalty.
 
Bath head coach Mike Ford was disappointed with his side’s performance, particularly at key moments of the match.
 
He said: “It was disappointing from us throughout the game. Our set piece didn’t function, we were inconsistent at both line-out and scrum and our discipline let us down as well.
 
“We had a terrible start to the second-half, we dropped it straight from the kick-off which led to a penalty and then straight from the next kick-off we conceded a penalty and a try.
 
“I was pleased with the way we came back and if anything in that last ten minutes. I thought we had the momentum and could have got a draw there but again our ill discipline let us down.
 
“We have a huge game next week against Northampton so we will lick our wounds, pick out the positives from this game and come back stronger. “
 
Saracens: Goode, Ashton, Taylor (Streather 13), Barritt, Wyles, Hodgson (Strettle 64), de Kock, Barrington (Gill 68), George (Sharman 70), Du Plessis (Johnston 70), Itoje, Hargreaves, Brown (Smith 70), Burger (Joubert 60), Wray
 
Bath Rugby: Homer, Rokoduguni, Burgess, Eastmond, Woodburn, Devoto, Cook (Young 34), Auterac (Lahiff 55), Batty (Webber 51), Thomas (Palma-Newport 60), Hooper, Day, Garvey (Fearns 51), Louw, Houston (Faosilva 68)
 
Scorers
 
Saracens
Tries: Wyles, George, Ashton
Conversions: Goode 2
Penalties: Hodgson, Goode 4
 
Bath
Tries: Rokoduguni 2, Woodburn
Conversions: Homer 3
Penalties: Homer
 
Referee: Luke Pearce
 
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