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Sarries seal landmark game success

Saracens moved closer to Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins with a 26-19 victory over Bath that kept the champions second in the table.

Owen Farrell kicked 16 points but missed another 12 in a hard-fought victory to mark the 2,000th Premiership game since Bath and Newcastle played the first on August 23, 1997.

And it was clearly a big day for the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Farrell, David Strettle and Brad Barritt of Saracens, all the subject of England selection speculation in recent weeks. Equally, Bath duo Matt Banahan and Dave Attwood will have had Six Nations selection in mind on the back of last week's impressive 30-3 victory over London Irish.

But it was All Black fly-half and World Cup winner Stephen Donald, who struck first in the fifth minute, scoring the opening try followed by a successful conversion.

Steve Borthwick hit back for Sarries with a try of his own which Farrell converted. Donald struck a penalty midway through the first half, but Farrell replied with two for the home side, who led 13-10 at the break.

Farrell was first to add to the scores after the break with his third penalty of the match before Tom Heathcote replied with one for Bath, but Chris Wyles touched down with 10 minutes left as he swept beyond the weak challenges of Nick Abendanon and Banahan to score, Farrell converting.

Then Heathcote rifled over another penalty on 73 minutes to keep the pot boiling, but Farrell scored his sixth goal on 77 minutes and Heathcote kicked his third in the dying minutes to earn a bonus point.


From Belfast Telegraph