Aviva Premiership: Leaders Saracens keep chasing pack at bay
Last Updated: 30/03/13 5:54pm
Leaders Saracens responded to Leicester's bonus-point win over Northampton with a hard-fought 22-13 success over London Wasps.
The home side made the better start and raced into a 13-point lead thanks to Christian Wade's try and two penalties from Elliot Daly.
Chris Wyles crossed the try line in the 17th minute while two penalties from Owen Farrell kept Sarries within touching distance.
England international Chris Ashton's try put the visitors in front for the first time, with two more Farrell penalties completing the scoring.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young called for an improvement from his pack and they responded as early as the eighth minute, forcing the back-pedalling Saracens scrum to concede a penalty, kicked by long-range specialist Daly from a metre inside the Sarries' half.
Wasps struck again two minutes later when Wade intercepted a sloppy pass from Charlie Hodgson and raced 60 yards for his 10th Premiership try of the season, boosting his claim for a place on England's summer tour to Argentina.
That was converted by Jones and the home side made it 13-0 after Saracens' centre Joel Tomkins was penalised for a late tackle on the former Wales fly-half after he had launched a big clearance kick into the opposing half.
The penalty was awarded where the ball landed and Daly made no mistake with an excellent angled kick from 40 metres. But Wasps spoilt their good start when their defence was caught napping.
They were expecting Saracens to go for goal but England full-back Alex Goode took a quick tap and made the break to send Wyles, called up to replace injured winger David Strettle, over in the left corner.
Farrell missed the conversion and was then wide with his kick after the Saracens pack wheeled a scrum, forcing Wasps to concede a penalty.
But the England fly-half, switched to inside centre with his international team-mate Brad Barritt rested, made amends in the 26th minute by landing a 38-metre penalty.
Saracens should have drawn level in the 36th minute when England prop Mako Vunipola - whose brother Billy lined up at number eight for Wasps - dived for the line and stretched one-handed to touch down, only for his international colleague Joe Launchbury to produce a timely intervention and knock the ball away.
The visitors suffered another blow a minute before half-time when lock Mouritz Botha was sin-binned for disrupting a Wasps attack with a deliberate knock-on. The home side failed to capitalise on their 10-minute, one-man advantage before Botha returned, though.
After Farrell's penalty cut the gap to two points, Ashton put Saracens ahead for the first time in the 66th minute when he latched on to a through-kick from Goode and, despite the attentions of Daly, touched down in the right-hand corner for his fourth Premiership try of the campaign.
Farrell missed the conversion - his third failure from five kicks - but succeeded with his third penalty after Billy Vunipola was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in front of his own posts.
He added a fourth two minutes from time to complete the scoring when Wasps illegally pulled down a Saracens' maul two metres from the line.