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Strettle helps Saracens to victory


David Strettle

David Strettle

David Strettle

David Strettle marked his first start for Saracens with a try as Brendan Venter's side claimed a 26-14 win over bottom side Leeds Carnegie, who registered their third-successive Aviva Premiership defeat.

Strettle, 27, touched down in the 26th minute with a clinical effort to register his second try for the club following his summer move from rivals Harlequins.

Replacement hooker Schalk Brits added a late second and fly-half Derick Hougaard weighed in with 16 points with the boot in a largely uninspiring encounter.

A penalty from Hougaard put Saracens ahead in the the third minute but the initial response from Leeds was impressive.

However, the hosts could not make their dominance pay and were hit with a vicious sucker-punch in the 26th minute when Saracens claimed the only try of the first half. Hougaard collected a pass from Neil de Kock and flighted a teasing grubber kick into the right corner, where Strettle arrived to touch down.

Hougaard added the extras and converted another penalty before half-time to give his side an interval lead of 13-0.

Yet Leeds hit back six minutes after the break through a penalty from Christian Lewis-Pratt to at least put some points on the board. However, he finally succumbed to injury in the 53rd minute and was replaced by Leigh Hinton.

Hinton kicked a penalty to cut the gap to seven points shortly before the hour mark but Hougaard gave Saracens further breathing space moments later with a long-range three-pointer.

Eight minutes later another penalty from Hinton got Leeds back into the game at 16-9 but Saracens grabbed a killer second try in the closing stages when Brits touched down after the visiting pack drove him over the line.

Hougaard converted and although centre James Tincknell replied for Leeds in the left corner, Hinton failed to add the conversion before Hougaard added another penalty for Saracens.

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