TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Stats - Fix Info

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary

Match Report: Wasps 16 Saracens 26

27 Dec 2015
Match Report: Wasps 16 Saracens 26

Saracens will start 2016 on top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after Duncan Taylor and Owen Farrell’s one-two punch in the second half broke Wasps’ resolve.

Mark McCall’s side, still unbeaten both domestically and in Europe this season, enjoyed the better of the exchanges before the break but only led 6-3 at half time through two Farrell penalties to Jimmy Gopperth’s one.

Wasps threatened upon the restart and got back onto level terms, but Farrell and Taylor combined exquisitely for the two quickfire tries on the hour that ultimately settled the game.

Frank Halai hit back but it was too little too late for Wasps, who nevertheless came the first side to score a try at home to Saracens in 2015/16.

It was one of the clashes of the round – a Wasps side that have crushed European heavyweights Toulon and Leinster already this season, up against the unbeaten Saracens.

And it was the away side that burst out of the traps fastest, Farrell knocking over the simplest of penalties after Wasps were pinged for offside.

Both sides continued to feel each other out with ball in hand, but Saracens asserted some push at the scrum and Farrell blasted over another three-pointer once a penalty was awarded.

Farrell continued to dictate the flow of the game with his kicking while Wasps fly-half Gopperth was yet to find his range, though the New Zealander did force Billy Vunipola to cough off the ball after giving possession away cheaply.

But the closest Sarries came to the try-line was when Alex Goode could not quite direct the ball to Chris Wyles on the sideline – and with half an hour already gone Wasps finally got a sighter at goal.

After Vunipola failed to roll away at the tackle, Gopperth reduced Sarries’ lead to three and an another penalty in the 35th minute handed Wasps the chance to level up the scores.

The big boot of Elliot Daly, from some 55 metres out, just about had the range but not the accuracy as Wasps went in at the half three points behind.

But though Saracens had much of the play in the first half, the home side had dug in and within five minutes of the restart Daly spliced the posts from halfway following an offside call.

Farrell hit back from the tee almost immediately after, yet Wasps were beginning to stretch their legs and Charles Piutau produced a big break that ultimately came to nothing.

Gopperth’s boot then brought the West Midlands side level once again but the pendulum well and truly swung Saracens’ way just before the hour.

Taylor picked a scything line off a pass from Farrell – who then arced around to play the decoy – and the Scotland centre turned on the jets to canter over the line.

Roles reversed just three minutes later as, after a fortunate deflection from a kick forward, Taylor gathered in and offloaded to a tryline-bound Farrell.

Farrell converted both and Saracens had suddenly stretched their lead to 14 points – with only the final quarter left to go it was looking ominous for Wasps.

Chris Ashton and Goode nearly helped produce another try but Saracens were happy to settle for any points on offer, and Farrell added another three to his impressive tally in the 72nd minute.

Wasps did get a consolation after Saracens lost possession deep in opposition territory however, as a flowing move ended with Halai racing over.

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing

Related News

Preview: Wasps v Saracens