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Strettle dominant despite Saracens defeat

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Saracens may have slipped up against Exeter Chiefs at the weekend but it was not for a lack of effort from a handful of their seniors players – including David Strettle.

Strettle will no doubt be looking to catch the eye of England boss Stuart Lancaster in the run up to the World Cup and, according to Opta statistics for Aviva Premiership Rugby, his display at Allianz Park on Sunday will have done his chances no harm.

Nobody across the entire competition made more breaks than the 31-year-old in Round 21, while only one man – teammate Alex Goode – beat more defenders.

Strettle also took his place in the top three for metres made with 129, beaten only by Northampton Saints’ Ken Pisi and Exeter Chiefs No.8 Thomas Waldrom.

There was also no shortage of defensive graft from Mark McCall’s men, with Mako Vunipola’s tackle count of 20 the highest in the competition – and flankers Jacques Burger and Kelly Brown not far behind on 14 apiece.

However, Sarries were undone in no small part by Waldrom – the bane of many an Aviva Premiership Rugby defence this season.

The prolific Chiefs back row took his try tally to 16 for the season, just one off the all-time record by crossing over twice.

And, as well as racking up the competition’s second highest tally of metres made, the former Leicester Tiger completed more carries (21) than anyone else.

Leicester’s Jordan Crane and Wasps No.8 Nathan Hughes – facing off at the Ricoh Arena, where the Tigers emerged victorious – were next best on 18.

Elsewhere, London Irish’s Tom Guest and Northampton flanker Tom Wood were the lineout kings, winning nine apiece, while no-one completed more offloads than Wasps’ Alapati Leiua or Harlequins’ Jack Clifford, who amassed five each.
 
Selected Opta statistics for Round 21:
 
Metres made:
Ken Pisi (Northampton Saints) 139
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 130
David Strettle (Saracens) 129
Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons) 120
Tom Arscott (Sale Sharks) 110
 
Tackles:
Mako Vunipola (Saracens) 20
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) 16
Ben West (London Welsh) & Julia Salvi (Leicester Tigers) 15
Jacques Burger & Kelly Brown (both Saracens) 14
 
Carries:
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 21
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) & Nathan Hughes (Wasps) 18
Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs) 16
Sam Tuitupou (Sale Sharks) 15
 
Lineouts won:
Tom Guest (London Irish) & Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) 9
Kane Thompson (Newcastle Falcons) 7
 
Defenders beaten:
Alex Goode (Saracens) 9
James Short (London Irish), Leroy Houston (Bath Rugby) & David Strettle (Saracens) 6
Ken Pisi (Northampton Saints) 5
 
Kicks:
Will Chudley (Exeter Chiefs), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens) & Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks) 13
Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs) & Charlie Hodgson (Saracens) 10
Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers) 9
 
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