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Saracens stun Bath at The Rec

01 Jan 2005
Saracens stun Bath at The Rec

The real heroes for Saracens were the men in the jerseys numbered one through to eight, who produced a superb performance.

In an error-ridden affair, played in a howling gale and driving rain, Bath's Olly Barkley wasted no time in registering his comeback from injury.

His third-minute penalty put Bath into the lead, but Saracens controlled the first half, Glen Jackson expertly using the wind at his back to pin Bath in their own half.

Jackson tied the scores at 3-3 with a 24th minute penalty awarded after James Scaysbrook had not rolled away from the tackle.

That looked to be it for the first period, but in the last phase of the half Thomas Castaignede produced a shimmy and burst of acceleration reminiscent of times gone by for the Frenchman.

He released flyer Richie Haughton who coasted in under the posts to leave the Londoners 10-3 ahead at the break.

The home crowd would have been forgiven for anticipating a second-half comeback, with the wind growing in harshness, but Taine Randell and his pack produced an heroic forty minutes to keep Bath pegged back.

The superiority of Saracens' pack over Bath's was such that Jackson was able to extend the advantage on 50 minutes with another penalty.

Sarries might also have had another score, after Randell led a daring counter-attack, but Castaignede's boot let him down at a crossfield kick.

Bath, shorn of inspirational captain Jonathan Humphreys, looked out-of-sorts at best, rudderless at worst. Chris Malone will be particularly disappointed after a poor showing.

Barkley landed a late penalty to bring Bath to within a score, but the ensuing succession of desperate attacks were never going to breach the Saracens defensive line.

Deep into injury time, Matt Perry seemed to be over the line for the crucial score, but he spilled with the ball in the tackle. It was just one of those days for Bath.

The scorers:

For Bath:Pens: Barkley 2

For Saracens:Try: HaughtonCon: JacksonPens: Jackson 2

For more news, try out Bath Rugby v Saracens

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