Biarritz 15th Jan 2012
Saracens were 20-16 winners against Biarritz in the Heineken Cup at Vicarage Road on Sunday – a result that means Sarries need just a single point from the final pool clash against Treviso next weekend to book a place in the quarter-finals.
A first half try from Ben Spencer and five penalties from the boot of Owen Farrell gave the home side the victory over the French outfit and set up Sunday’s trip to Italy and the chance to make the knockout stages.
Going into the closing stages of the match, Sarries held the lead by a point at Dimitri Yachvili’s second half try made it a tight finish, but the home side closed the game out to secure their fourth victory in Pool 5.
It was the visiting side who took the lead when Dimitri Yachvili struck a penalty with just 10 minutes on the clock, but the home side hit back through Owen Farrell almost immediately.
Yachvili was on target again minutes later before Sarries crossed the line midway through the half. David Strettle picked up a loose ball in midfield and released Chris Wyles out wide. The wing was pulled down 10 metres short of the line but spotting a gap, Ben Spencer sniped over the line.
There was still time for another score before the break when Farrell hit a penalty from halfway to give the home side a 14-6 lead at the interval.
After the break, Biarritz began to enjoy a good spell of possession which gave them good field position and it was from that which they crossed the line midway through the second half. Replacement Peter Stringer saw a clearance kick charged down and Yachvili collected the ball to score, converting his own try.
Farrell and Yachvili both then traded penalties in the following 10 minutes to make it a one point game going into the final 10 minutes.
Saracens line-up: Goode, Strettle, Farrell, Barritt, Wyles, Hodgson, Spencer (Stringer 54), Gill, Smit, Nieto (Stevens 63), Borthwick, Botha (Kruis 56), Brown, Saull, Joubert (Wray 65) Replacements not used:: George, Du Plessis, Powell, Short
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