Wing David Strettle is adamant Saracens’ clash with Bath Rugby will go right down to the wire as the Allianz Park outfit go in search of the best ever start to an Aviva Premiership season.
With bonus-point victories over London Irish and Gloucester Rugby, Sarries are just one four-try win away from equalling Harlequins’ start to last season, which saw them secure everything available from the first three games.
Quins are the only team to begin a season with three bonus-point wins with Bath, undefeated themselves after victories over Newcastle Flacons and Leicester Tigers, standing in the way of Saracens’ attempts to pull level with them.
And wing Strettle insists victory won’t be secured until the death at Allianz Park – pointing to their 28-26 triumph courtesy of Owen Farrell’s boot in September 2011 as an example of what is likely to come on Sunday.
“Bath are on the back of two wins on the bounce and we know it’s going to be a very tough game and some games that are very tight are decided by the boot,” said Strettle, who scored twice in the win over Gloucester.
“Hopefully we’ll be in a position where it’s not and we can get the win but I remember playing at Bath two years ago where it was decided by the last kick of the game, when Owen hit the posts and it went over.
“The real tough games are decided by really fine margins. You just want to go out there and do your best for the team and if you get on the try sheet it’s great, but there are many different ways of putting in great performances.”
Bath themselves have not started an Aviva Premiership campaign with three straight victories in ten seasons with Saracens triumphant over them during their previous six clashes.
And, having starred in Bath United’s 31-22 win in their Aviva A League clash with defending champions Harlequins A, Tom Biggs is desperate to play a part against Sarries.
“I want to be playing for the first team and hopefully I put my hand up for selection to start,” said Biggs. “I’ve been on the bench which I’m disappointed about.
“But I’m working hard and hopefully putting in performances like that the coaches can’t ignore me. I think the performance will make the coach stand up and notice.
“I’m putting pressure on the guys in the squad – and it’s not just me. There are other individuals who have put their hands up for the first team.
“You’ve got to perform well in training and in those games. Everyone wants to be starting and there were some really impressive performances by the team.”
Referee: J P Doyle (65th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Stuart Terheege. TMO: David Sainsbury.