Saracens claimed their eighth win in succession to cement their lead at the top of the Guinness Premiership.
Dominant in the scrum and fuelled by the confidence gained from beating South Africa on Tuesday night, Saracens sank their old rivals on a raid-sodden Vicarage Road pitch.
Saracens were without England captain Steve Borthwick but Test duties hit Wasps worse as they were deprived of Tim Payne, Joe Worsley and Simon Shaw. One man Saracens did have available was their record points scorer Glen Jackson, but they elected to rest him.
Within three minutes that logic was put to the test as Saracens were awarded a kickable penalty and Derick Hougaard’s kick rebounded off a post.
The reprieve was short-lived, however, as Saracens ran a poor clearance back at pace, Wasps struggled to block all avenues and Hougaard had time to take Kevin Barrett’s pass and kick a drop goal. Wasps responded by camping on the Saracens line and were eventually rewarded with a penalty converted by Dave Walder.
Despite the wet and windy conditions, both teams elected to be bold and attempted to force each other onto the back foot. It was Saracens who made the first breakthrough 11 minutes in. Wasps could not halt a powerful driving maul and hooker Schalk Brits broke clear and scored on the left, Hougaard converting.
Wasps reduced the arrears in the 21st minute with another Walder penalty but Hougaard soon responded with a penalty of his own. England wing Paul Sackey switched wings in search of possession but his attempted chip ahead for Tom Varndell was dealt with by Alex Goode.
The first penalty of the second half went to Wasps but Walder’s effort from halfway went wide. Hougaard was no more successful from just inside his own half on 54 minutes and fired another long-range effort wide two minutes later, his third miss from five attempts on goal.
Just when it seemed that considerable Saracens pressure would go unrewarded, Hougaard arrowed home a drop goal to take their lead to 16-6 after 58 minutes. Further pressure saw Wasps concede yet another penalty and this time Hougaard made no mistake in the 63rd minute.
Wasps’ problems in the scrum were not solved by a rash of substitutions and Hougaard sealed their fate with a penalty on 70 minutes.