Jackson stars for Sarries
By Michael Wise. Last Updated: 27/12/06 11:34am
Glen Jackson starred for Saracens as they eased to a 38-15 Guinness Premiership victory against Northampton - their seventh win in eight matches.
The fly-half contributed 23 points in all - including a try - with Sarries running in four scores for a win which lifts them up to fourth in the table.
And Jackson, who arrived from the Bay of Plenty in 2004, also won the battle of the New Zealand number 10s against opposite number Carlos Spencer.
Nevertheless it was Spencer who put the first points on the board with a penalty after only two minutes, Saracens having killed the ball.
Chasing a Dan Scarborough up and under, Sarries centre Kevin Sorrell was then tackled inches short of the line. However, a Jackson penalty soon levelled proceedings.
Tevita Vaikona was next to threaten the visitors' line, before - and against the run of play - another Spencer penalty put the Saints into the lead.
But Saracens soon got a deserved opening score, with Shane Byrne exploiting Northampton's failure to find their jumper at a line out and feeding Jackson.
He then passed the ball wide and set up Kameli Ratuvou to touch down.
Jackson kicked another penalty before half time, but three such conversions from Spencer ensured that Northampton went into the break only one point adrift.
Their battle resumed in the second period, with Jackson missing a penalty which followed a break from Scarborough.
But he more than compensated by orchestrating a wonderful try in the 45th minute, Jackson spreading the ball back and forth towards both flanks.
He then sold the Northampton defence a dummy five metres out before scoring triumphantly under the posts.
Sarries number eight Ben Skirving then failed to exploit a wonderful chance to put them further ahead - his break coming to nought after a woeful final pass to the unmarked David Seymour.
But they finally assumed control of the match with a penalty try in the 68th minute, the under-pressure Saints pack having given way one too many times.
Jackson converted, but failed to find his target after Census Johnston scored Saracens' bonus-point try three minutes from time.