Hooker Jamie George scored two tries as Saracens defeated London Wasps 32-20 to claim a bonus point win and extend their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership.
Saracens led 17-8 at the break after Jackson Wray and George crossed either side of Mouritz Botha’s yellow card with Jonah Holmes going over for Wasps.
Wasps’ hopes were raised after the break when Tom Howe went over for a try on his debut but Alex Goode’s converted try and a penalty restored Saracens’ hold over the contest.
And after Sam Jones’ yellow card saw Wasps reduced to 14 men, George plundered his second score with Carlo Festuccia’s converted reply too little, too late.
Saracens started brightly against a Wasps side who had won only one of their last five Aviva Premiership fixtures at Adams Park and when the hosts were penalised for straying offside, fly-half Charlie Hodgson duly gave the visitors an early 3-0 lead.
With the wind starting to pick up, both Hodgson and his Wasps counterpart Andy Goode saw penalties sail wide before Saracens scored the game’s first try.
Duncan Taylor combined power and finesse as he burst through the Wasps back line and offloaded to Wray who touched down under the posts. Hodgson added the conversion to give Saracens a 10-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Andy Goode then missed another penalty but it was third time lucky when he cut Saracens’ lead to seven points after 21 minutes as the visitors’ lock Botha was also sent to the sin-bin for killing the ball.
Wasps took advantage of their extra man when an innocuous-looking long kick was allowed to bounce by Chris Ashton after 27 minutes. Ashton then slipped, allowing Wasps winger Holmes to nip in and touch down in the corner.
Andy Goode’s conversion attempt hit the post but Wasps were now within two points of their opponents.
However, on 35 minutes Saracens claimed a 17-8 lead going into half-time when hooker George went over following an unstoppable driving maul and Hodgson added the extras.
The second half began with Wasps enjoying a long spell of possession which they turned into points after 48 minutes.
Scrum-half Joe Simpson sliced through Saracens’ back line and one phase later Andy Goode’s long pass to Howe enabled the winger to go over in the corner for a debut try.
Andy Goode put the conversion wide and Saracens opened up a 24-13 lead not long afterwards.
Saracens full-back Alex Goode jinked past three static Wasps defenders in their own 22 to score and Farrell added the extra two points.
Farrell extended the advantage with a 60th minute penalty but a daring Simpson gave Wasps a chance to close the gap.
Following Simpson’s run, Wasps worked the ball wide and Holmes dived over in the corner. However, the TMO ruled the winger had been held up so Wasps failed to lessen their 14-point deficit.
Saracens were desperately seeking a fourth try that would give them the bonus point and with less than four minutes remaining they succeeded.
A powerful drive from their forwards saw George cross for his second try. Farrell’s missed conversion was immaterial as was Festuccia’s 80th minute try for the home side as Saracens triumphed 32-20 to move further clear at the top.