Seven-try Saracens spare Farrell's blushes

Sat, Nov 25, 2023, 11:10 PM
by AFP
Saracens overcame a mixed night from Owen Farrell to claim victory. Photo: Getty Images
Saracens overcame a mixed night from Owen Farrell to claim victory. Photo: Getty Images

Owen Farrell's wayward kicking was bailed out by seven tries as Saracens beat Bristol 39-31 for a fifth consecutive English Premiership victory.

The England captain missed six kicks in total -- consisting of five failed conversions and a penalty -- to keep Bristol in the match.

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Farrell had opened the scoring with the first try of the match before Alex Lewington and Billy Vunipola also crossed for Sarries before half-time.

A Jamie George second half double, allied to further scores from Lewington and Tom Willis, ultimately sparred Farrell's blushes.

A bonus point thanks to four tries of their own was little consolation for the Bears as they slipped to a fifth straight defeat.

Saracens climb up to second in the table after bouncing back from losing their opening two games of the season when most of their international stars were still away at the World Cup.

Leicester won 38-20 at Gloucester to close to within six points of the top four.

Ollie Hassell-Collins scored two tries for the Tigers, who also had 14 points from the boot of South Africa's World Cup winning hero Handre Pollard to thank for victory.

Meanwhile, George Ford kicked a late penalty as Sale beat Bath 11-9 on Friday (local time) to extend their lead at the top of the English Premiership. 

The England international landed a mid-range penalty with just seven minutes to go as the Sharks eventually broke down a stubborn Bath team to secure their sixth win of the season.

Sharks' Jonny Hill scored the only try of a tight game at Salford Stadium but three penalties from Finn Russell looked likely to nick the points for Bath in an attritional affair.

The visitors' defence almost did enough to earn what would have been a fine away win before Ford stepped up to clinch a Sale win.

Elsewhere, winger Ollie Sleightholme put his long-term injury troubles behind him by scoring two tries in Northampton's 36-33 victory over Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens.

The clash between two of the Premiership's most attack-minded teams lived up to its billing, with both scoring five tries, but it was Saints who came out on top.

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