Without ever hitting top form in attack, Saracens beat Worcester 19-6 at Vicarage Road today to complete the double over the side that did it to them last season.
Saracens, fourth in the Guinness Premiership and through to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and EDF Energy Cup semi-finals – both against the Ospreys – had too much strength for Worcester, next to bottom in the league.
New Zealand lock Chris Jack was back from a trip home and he was named man-of-the-match as Saracens won by a try from hooker Fabio Ongaro and 14 points from stand-off Glen Jackson.
Worcester, also denied a bonus point and still just five points clear of Leeds at the foot of the table, scored only through the boot of their outside-half Loki Crichton.
The visitors needed less than 90 seconds to take the lead, Samoan Crichton slotting over a drop goal, but it was to be their only achievement of the first-half.
Not that Saracens had much to show for it either, Jackson kicking only two of five penalty attempts.
Lock Hugh Vyvyan did go over after four minutes, but referee Andrew Small had spotted a forward pass at the end of centre Adam Powell’s break.
Jackson levelled matters with his second kick at goal after nine minutes, but Saracens were guilty of missing a succession of chances and nearly paid for it after 25 minutes.
Worcester’s New Zealand wing Rico Gear counter-attacked when the ball broke free out wide, but the 29-year-old did not quite have the speed to make all the 70 metres to the line.
Ten metres out he was tackled by right wing Richard Haughton and although Worcester won a penalty soon afterwards Crichton made a mess of it.
Saracens centre Adam Powell had been sent to the sin bin by then, but the visitors could not take advantage and while he was off Jackson did finally put Saracens into the lead on the half-hour with a penalty off the post.
Jackson made it 9-3 eight minutes into the second-half when visiting captain Pat Sanderson was penalised and sin-binned for diving through a ruck close to their line and preventing home scrum-half Alan Dickens from getting the ball away.
Crichton reduced the deficit with a penalty shortly afterwards, but Saracens then made their man advantage count in a way Worcester had failed to.
A drive to the line was held up, but there was a clear overlap on the right when the ball came out and Ongaro was in position to score a try that Jackson converted for 16-6.
Eleven minutes later Jackson kicked another penalty, but he finished with only four out of eight attempts and other sides would have made him pay more.
Saracens, though, were without injured trio Andy Farrell, Neil de Kock and Kevin Sorrell, while powerful prop Cencus Johnston was rested.