Saracens score two second-half tries in a comfortable 32-12 win over Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership

Times Series: David Strettle (Picture: Action Images) David Strettle (Picture: Action Images)

It must be the rubber-crumb effect.

Just four days after Saracens trained for the very first time on their new, faster, more free-flowing rubber-crumb pitch at Allianz Park the Men in Black scored two tries in a league match for the first time since the opening day of the season as they overcame Sale Sharks 32-12 at Vicarage Road.

Sarries have one more game to endure in Watford before they up and leave for Barnet but this was their last ever league match in front of the yellow seats and while they might have more atmospheric afternoons at their new home in Copthall they may not have many more comfortable.

But for two brief periods at the start of each half, Sale’s insipid display allowed Saracens to stroll through a match that never looked like ending in anything other than a routine home victory.

Owen Farrell, preferred at fly-half to the rested Charlie Hodgson, kicked six penalties and two conversions while second-half tries from David Strettle and Hodgson, who came on after the hour, wrapped up the win.

Saracens started slowly, gifting Danny Cipriani two opportunities from the tee which the Sale fly-half converted with aplomb to give the visitors an early 6-0 lead.

But after a clumsy opening ten minutes the hosts began to find their feet and in particular, the right boot of Farrell.

The warning signs were there as first Brad Barritt and then Joel Tomkins ghosted through the visitors’ leaky back line and as Sarries cranked up the pressure Sale were forced into regular infringement.

Farrell was the chief benefactor as the 21-year-old dispatched five penalties in 14 minutes to put Saracens 15-6 to the good at half time.

The visitors again started brightly after the break and Cipriani maintained his 100 per cent record from the tee with two successful efforts, but another Farrell kick in between kept the visitors at arms length with the score 18-12 on the hour mark.

Any inklings of a Sale resurgence though were wiped out as two Sarries tries in seven minutes put the result beyond doubt.

Hodgson came off the bench and the former Sharks man made an instant impact, offloading a typically incisive reverse pass to the impressive Strettle who ran 30 metres unopposed to score under the posts.

The same pair were involved again seven minutes later but this time it was Strettle who turned provider, poking through a delightful kick ten metres out for Hodgson to scoop up and go over for the second try of the game.

Farrell kicked his second conversion to take his personal points tally to 22 and the number ten rushed to collect the ball in the hope Saracens might be able to take home a bonus point with ten minutes to play.

Even for a rubber-crumb-invigorated Sarries, that proved overly-optimistic but another convincing display sees the Men in Black return to second in the Aviva Premiership, two points behind Harlequins and eight clear of fifth placed Northampton Saints.

It’s a healthy position for McCall’s side who now turn their attentions to two crucial Heineken Cup matches against Racing Metro and Edinburgh, starting with the trip to the French side next Saturday.

Line-ups

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Short, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Schalk Brits, 3 Matt Stevens, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 5 George Kruis, 6 Kelly Brown, 7 Will Fraser, 8 Ernst Joubert

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Duncan Taylor

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 3 Tony Buckley, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Kearnan Myall, 6 James Gaskell, 7 Richie Vernon, 8 Andy Powell

Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Daniel Braid, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Charlie Amesbury, 23 Cameron Shepherd

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Attendance: 5,472

Comments (11)

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7:40pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Hampshire hornet says...

Bye bye..
Bye bye.. Hampshire hornet
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Sun 6 Jan 13

mooneysmagic says...

Thank god we have finally got rid of those morons.
Thank god we have finally got rid of those morons. mooneysmagic
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sun 6 Jan 13

CJE1972 says...

The opportunity to create a stadium and a sporting centre of excellence in South Hertfordshire has been lost. To call rugby fans (many of whom are also football fans) morons shows you're total lack of understanding of high level sport. Two successful clubs would feed off each other. Quite frankly I'd rather not be anywhere near a stadium where an ignorant moron is allowed to be.
The opportunity to create a stadium and a sporting centre of excellence in South Hertfordshire has been lost. To call rugby fans (many of whom are also football fans) morons shows you're total lack of understanding of high level sport. Two successful clubs would feed off each other. Quite frankly I'd rather not be anywhere near a stadium where an ignorant moron is allowed to be. CJE1972
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Sun 6 Jan 13

saracen1971 says...

mooneysmagic wrote:
Thank god we have finally got rid of those morons.
wow, witty and informed as usual.

Saracens fault you were beaten yesterday was it?

Gonna need some new excuses come the 21st Jan.

Grow up.
[quote][p][bold]mooneysmagic[/bold] wrote: Thank god we have finally got rid of those morons.[/p][/quote]wow, witty and informed as usual. Saracens fault you were beaten yesterday was it? Gonna need some new excuses come the 21st Jan. Grow up. saracen1971
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Sun 6 Jan 13

D.unstable says...

Love the use of the word endure!!! If it is that bad go and do one and play your last match elsewhere.

Good riddance, will not be missed.....very little contribution to the stadium over the years and then constantly bitched about it.

Go enjoy Mill Hill.
Love the use of the word endure!!! If it is that bad go and do one and play your last match elsewhere. Good riddance, will not be missed.....very little contribution to the stadium over the years and then constantly bitched about it. Go enjoy Mill Hill. D.unstable
  • Score: 0

8:49am Mon 7 Jan 13

Hampshire hornet says...

D.unstable wrote:
Love the use of the word endure!!! If it is that bad go and do one and play your last match elsewhere.

Good riddance, will not be missed.....very little contribution to the stadium over the years and then constantly bitched about it.

Go enjoy Mill Hill.
Endure yes just read that.. Also remember the report that called the stadium derelict... I guess any finance we received from Sarries was lost in replacing the knackered pitch..
Also the to55er who sits in the Vic Rd end who shares my seat.. Try not to spill your coffee all over the seat and floor at the new stadium...
[quote][p][bold]D.unstable[/bold] wrote: Love the use of the word endure!!! If it is that bad go and do one and play your last match elsewhere. Good riddance, will not be missed.....very little contribution to the stadium over the years and then constantly bitched about it. Go enjoy Mill Hill.[/p][/quote]Endure yes just read that.. Also remember the report that called the stadium derelict... I guess any finance we received from Sarries was lost in replacing the knackered pitch.. Also the to55er who sits in the Vic Rd end who shares my seat.. Try not to spill your coffee all over the seat and floor at the new stadium... Hampshire hornet
  • Score: 0

10:04am Mon 7 Jan 13

Guy Bov says...

Disappointing that over the years opportunities have been missed by Watford FC, Saracens and the loca council to turn the vic into a stadium we can all share and be proud of.
Hope both clubs can move onwards and upwards and do us proud in 2013
Disappointing that over the years opportunities have been missed by Watford FC, Saracens and the loca council to turn the vic into a stadium we can all share and be proud of. Hope both clubs can move onwards and upwards and do us proud in 2013 Guy Bov
  • Score: 0

10:55am Mon 7 Jan 13

McHornet says...

I'm a Watford Season ticket holder but i support Sarries too and to call Rugby Fans morons in comparison to Football supporters is possibly the funniest thing i have ever read!
I'm a Watford Season ticket holder but i support Sarries too and to call Rugby Fans morons in comparison to Football supporters is possibly the funniest thing i have ever read! McHornet
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Mon 7 Jan 13

inayellowshirt says...

"Sarries have one more game to endure in Watford"

Hope this means the last of seeing Saracens reporting on the WATFORD Observer then. If the town that welcomed them is that hard for them to endure then we don't need to hear of them again.
"Sarries have one more game to endure in Watford" Hope this means the last of seeing Saracens reporting on the WATFORD Observer then. If the town that welcomed them is that hard for them to endure then we don't need to hear of them again. inayellowshirt
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Mon 7 Jan 13

lutondown says...

I played rugby as a prop forward, so welcomed them to the Vic, and enjoyed them heady days of 19000 crowds against Leicester etc. But the expected joint venture never took place and Wrays total indifference to the Watford fanbase his nomadic club attracted was more than evident in his comments.
I for one couldn't give two hoots what happens to them, or their midi South African revolution, I'm just glad we have owners that will not be cowed by anyone, especially old Mill Hillian exiles ( or is it old Gaytonians? ) goodbye. Good riddance
I played rugby as a prop forward, so welcomed them to the Vic, and enjoyed them heady days of 19000 crowds against Leicester etc. But the expected joint venture never took place and Wrays total indifference to the Watford fanbase his nomadic club attracted was more than evident in his comments. I for one couldn't give two hoots what happens to them, or their midi South African revolution, I'm just glad we have owners that will not be cowed by anyone, especially old Mill Hillian exiles ( or is it old Gaytonians? ) goodbye. Good riddance lutondown
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Tue 8 Jan 13

srfc says...

all you ignorant people (from both points of view) will be pleased to know that there is still ones game to go at the Vic!!!
all you ignorant people (from both points of view) will be pleased to know that there is still ones game to go at the Vic!!! srfc
  • Score: 0

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