Sarries suffer champions' jinx
Saracens join long list of beaten champions with Wasps defeat
Last Updated: 03/09/11 8:49pm
Vardell scored a late try to claim victory for Wasps
Saracens kicked off the defence of their Premiership title with a 15-20 defeat by Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday.
The defending champions became the ninth team in 11 years to suffer defeat in their season-opening match after winning the title.
And to make matters worse, Sarries only have themselves to blame after allowing their London rivals to come from behind with a late Tom Varndell try to clinch victory.
Teenage fly-half Owen Farrell booted Saracens into an early lead with a seventh-minute penalty, adding a second two minutes later following a period of sustained pressure.
Wasps had started slowly but came to life after Nicky Robinson pulled three back from a penalty won at the game's first scrum on 16 minutes.
Four minutes later they tore open the Saracens defence with a fantastic crossfield move that ended with Christian Wade going over on the right.
Farrell reduced the arrears with a penalty after Wasps were penalised at the breakdown two minutes before half-time.
But Robinson restored the advantage with the last kick of the half to give Wasps a 13-9 lead going into the break.
Farrell missed the opportunity to close the gap two minutes into the second half but his replacement Charlie Hodgson reduced the deficit to one point on 55 minutes.
Former England international Hodgson, who joined Sarries from Sale in the summer, grabbed the lead for his new side with another three-pointer on the hour to make it 15-13.
But just five minutes later Wasps hit back when Charlie Davies broke before feeding former England wing Varndell, who battered his way through two Saracens defenders for the try.
Robinson converted to make it 20 -15 and eight minutes from time Hodgson had the chance to reduce the arrears to two, but hooked his attempt from wide left of the posts.