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Wasps 17 Saracens 26

08 Mar 2015
Wasps 17 Saracens 26

Fly-half Alex Goode kicked 16 points as Saracens ended Wasps’ winning home record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season in a fiercely-contested clash at the Ricoh Arena.

Heading into the game Wasps were the only team in the competition to have won all eight home games this term – including the last four at their new Coventry base.

And despite two stunning first-half tries from Christian Wade and Elliot Daly, they found fellow semi-final chasers Saracens too tough to handle.

Alex Goode was instrumental in turning the tide for the visitors with four penalties and two conversions in total, with Jackson Wray and Chris Wyles both crossing in a pulsating first half.

The action dimmed a little in the second period, but Sarries showed their class to see the game out and put a four-point gap between the sides in the table.

A cagey opening ten minutes brought a penalty for either side through the boots of Wasps’ Andy Goode and Saracens namesake Alex, but the game burst into life with two sensational Wasps tries within the space of two minutes.

The first came courtesy of the dazzling feet of Wade, but it also owed much to some neat build-up as well.

A stolen lineout from Bradley Davies allowed Ashley Johnson to deliver a great pass out to Wade on the right touchline.

With limited room in which to work, the wing kicked and chased – adding a couple of neat flicks to keep the ball in play before grounding, somehow, in the corner on 13 minutes.

Andy Goode added a conversion the try richly deserved, and moments later Daly’s equally sumptuous effort sent the Ricoh Arena into raptures.

From his own half the in-form Daly, now with four tries from four Aviva Premiership Rugby games, waltzed his way through the Sarries defence and touched down to the right of the post – Andy Goode made no mistake and it looked as if Wasps would run away with it.

However, a stern Sarries side replied in their own manner on 20 minutes.

Wray’s try after a driving maul may not have been as pretty on the eye as the Wade or Daly masterpieces, but it brought the visitors back into the contest and Alex Goode’s two-pointer reduced their deficit to 17-10.

The Saracens fly-half then added another penalty on 26 minutes and by the half-hour mark the game had been turned on its head.

Richard Wigglesworth sent a devilish kick in the direction of Wyles and the Sarries wing duly held on to ground in the left corner – Alex Goode converting.

Wasps fly-half Andy Goode then missed a penalty in the last act of a pulsating first half as Sarries retained their 20-17 lead at the break.

The visitors had Chris Ashton yellow carded for a high tackle on Rob Miller within seconds of the restart, but it seemed to matter little as Alex Goode added a penalty to extend Saracens’ lead still further.

Wasps replacement Guy Thompson was next to see the sin bin after a storming Saracens maul was halted illegally, and Alex Goode kept up his impressive performance from the tee to make it 26-17 with just 14 minutes remaining.

The visitors looked the most likely to add to their tally in the closing stages but a bonus-point try eluded Sarries, who still moved up to third with the victory.

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