Jamie George climbed off the bench to score a second-half try double that bagged a Saracens 30-14 bonus-point win over Wasps and a return to the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit.
Mako Vunipola crossed early on as Saracens flew out of the traps, but Danny Cipriani broke superbly to put Josh Bassett in before Mike Ellery’s late score put Saracens 13-8 ahead at the break.
Jimmy Gopperth’s penalty pulled Wasps within two points at 13-11, but Alex Lozowski restored Saracens’ lead before George’s late salvo ended Wasps’ resistance and their unbeaten record.
Mark McCall’s side moved two points clear of Wasps – who remain in second – as they prepared to defend their European Rugby Champions Cup trophy next weekend against Toulon by ending Wasps’ unbeaten start to the season.
Vunipola’s try in the fourth minute was an early indication of Saracens’ intent, with the pack muscling over in the far left corner from a short lineout.
Wasps managed to ride the intense early pressure from Saracens to bring the scores to within two points when Jimmy Gopperth slotted a penalty goal after 27 minutes played.
Alex Lozowski restored Saracens’ advantage back to five points with a penalty goal just outside the 22 in the 31st minute.
Danny Cipriani sparked a Wasps’ try from nothing, rounding England No.8 Billy Vunipola with a superb turn of pace to send Josh Bassett racing over, Gopperth missed the conversion to leave the score at 8-8 late in the first half.
But it was Saracens who had the final say with a superb team try right at the end of the first half.
Both Vunipolas were integral, battering the Wasps’ defence and Mako carrying cleverly from the base of the ruck before Ellery went over in the 11th phase as McCall’s men showed great composure.
Cipriani was a continual bright spark for Wasps, breaking through Saracens defensive wall on a number of occasions and kicking intelligently throughout.
But the rampaging carrying of No.8 Vunipola – as well as superb defensive work on opposite number Nathan Hughes – was enough to wear the visitors down.
Gopperth and Lozowski traded penalties early in the second-half, but it was substitute hooker George who was on hand to hammer home the hosts’ superiority as the half wore on.
His first was the result of superb driving play from Saracens, their power-play sending the Wasps defenders careering backwards and George crossing the whitewash.
Saracens’ bonus-point try and George’s second of the afternoon – which took his tally for the season to five to head the try-scoring charts – was similar to the first as he flopped over after a strong driving maul.