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Bath Rugby 0 Saracens 22

22 Dec 2012
Bath Rugby 0 Saracens 22

Charlie Hodgson produced a masterclass of wet-weather rugby to lead Saracens to a comprehensive 22-0 win away at Bath Rugby.

The former England fly-half slotted 17 points and created the only try of the game for Richard Wigglesworth as Sarries temporarily moved top of the Aviva Premiership.

Bath were able to dominate much of the possession, especially after the break, but their lack of cutting edge proved costly.

For Saracens the half-back pairing of Wigglesworth and Hodgson were influential, with their defence also outstanding as Bath threw wave after wave of attacks at them to no effect.

In difficult conditions neither side was able to impose themselves early on, with Hodgson’s missed drop goal 12 minutes in the first real chance of points.

However they did manage to take the lead two minutes later when Hodgson slotted a penalty from 40 metres out.

While Sarries appeared to have the better of the territory, Bath were edging the battle up front, winning a couple of penalties through their scrum to get them out of trouble.

However it was a moment of magic from Hodgson which brought the first try, the fly-half dummying his way past Stephen Donald before finding David Strettle, and the winger produced a neat offload to Wigglesworth for the try. Hodgson converted to extend the lead to 10-0.

After another Hodgson penalty Donald had the chance to get Bath on the board but his effort stayed just wide to the right.

And Hodgson added another three points with seven minutes remaining in the first half to put Sarries 16-0 up at half-time.

The second half began in scrappy fashion as Bath tried to press forward but struggled to take advantage of their territorial dominance.

Bath piled the pressure on the Saracens line but the visitors were able to stop a powerful maul before clearing their lines when the home side were penalised for piling over the top.

And when Sarries forced another penalty, Hodgson made no mistake to stretch their lead to 19-0 on the hour.

Hodgson then missed his first kick of the afternoon as Bath were again penalised but the home side couldn’t capitalise as a lineout deep in Saracens territory didn’t go to hand.

And even when they created a hint of an overlap, it was Francois Louw who knocked on to relieve the pressure for the home side.

Hodgson’s radar appeared to have gone astray however as he missed his second penalty after some good work from replacement James Short. But almost immediately he made amends with his fifth penalty of the afternoon.

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