Premiership: Saracens 25-17 Worcester Warriors - champions survive early scare

Mako Vunipola
Worcester have won just once at Saracens back in November 2006
Gallagher Premiership
Saracens (11) 25
Tries: M Vunipola, Clark, Strettle Cons: Farrell 2 Pens: Farrell 2
Worcester (17) 17
Tries: Weir, Te'o Cons: Weir 2 Pens: Weir

Saracens avoided a shock defeat as they came from behind to beat Worcester.

Warriors made a great start with tries for Duncan Weir and Ben Te'o inside the first 11 minutes before Owen Farrell's penalty put Saracens on the board.

Mako Vunipola's try got the hosts closer before Weir and Farrell traded penalties as the half ended.

Calum Clark's try moved the champions ahead for the first time on 52 minutes before David Strettle's fourth try of the season secured victory.

Saracens remain second in the Premiership, one point off leaders Exeter who inflicted a first loss of the season on Mark McCall's men last week, while Worcester stay second from bottom.

But the lowly Warriors stunned the champions in the fifth minute when Weir went over - Saracens punished for a mistake at the breakdown, with Francois Hougaard barging through before feeding the Scotland fly-half who scored in the corner.

Six minutes later, England and Lions centre Te'o, making his first Worcester start of the season, then benefitted after Perry Humphreys broke through the defence before offloading when he was tackled three metres from the line.

Saracens did not venture into Worcester's 22 until the 20th minute, with Farrell kicking Saracens' first points before Vunipola eventually went over for the London club from a rolling maul after great pressure.

After the break Sarries took control as Will Skelton and Ben Spencer both went close to scoring before Clark finished a fine move that began with some magical footwork from Alex Goode on his own 22.

Strettle put the result beyond doubt with a try 14 minutes from time as he flew in after a lovely delayed pass by Farrell.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall told BBC Radio London:

"It was probably a good test of us because we lost last week and we went 14-0 down very quickly.

"To bounce back the way that we did and be composed enough to get the job done is a really positive thing.

"It's fair to say that we dominated the second half. We had a lot of possession and field position. We were in their 22 often and they made us fight for everything."

Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons told BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester:

"In the first half we played really, really well, had some ball and scored two tries.

"In the second half we made a few mistakes and we were punished for them. They got territory, they held onto the ball and made it very difficult.

"For me the important point for us was that the character of the side showed throughout."

Saracens: Goode; Maitland, Tompkins, Lozowski, Lewington; Farrell (capt), Spencer; M Vunipola, George, Judge, Skelton, Kruis, Isiekwe, Clark, Earl.

Replacements: Strettle for Lewington (54), Burger for Skelton (54), Day for Isiekwe (64), Bosch for Tompkins (64), Barrington for M Vunipola (71), Woolstencroft for George (77), Whiteley for Spencer (77).

Not used: Lamositele.

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Venter, Te'o, Humphreys; Weir, Hougaard; Black, Singleton, Milasinovich, Bresler, Phillips, Hill, Lewis, Van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Waller for Black (55), Taufete'e for Singleton (58), Kerrod for Milasinovich (58), Bsrry for Bresler (66), Arr for Hougaard (68), Cox for Hill (68).

Not used: Lawrence, van Breda.

Attendance: 9,758.

Referee: Karl Dickson.

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