Aviva Premiership: Saracens battle past Worcester Warriors
Last Updated: 14/04/13 5:46pm
Chris Ashton of Saracens is tackled by Chris Pennel
Saracens secured a home semi-final in the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a 47-17 bonus-point win over Worcester at Allianz Park.
David Strettle was the star performer, scoring a hat-trick of tries in the first 25 minutes as Saracens built a match-winning 23-3 lead.
A huge victory looked likely for Saracens but Worcester, without an away league win this season, showed some spirit to contest the remainder of the match.
Danny Gray and Charlie Hodgson exchanged early penalties before with their first attack, Saracens scored the opening try. John Smit softened up the visitors' defence with a couple of bursts before the ball was transferred sweetly along the line for Strettle to force his way over in the corner.
Hodgson extended the lead with a penalty before Sarries scored their second try, a brilliant solo effort from Strettle.
Saracens' dominance continued unabated as Kelly Brown burst through half the Worcester side and created a third try for Strettle, this time a simple run in.
Worcester were in danger of being overrun but showed some fight when a strong run from Alex Grove created a try for Josh Drauniniu which was converted by Gray.
Neil De Kock did not reappear after the interval and within minutes of the restart the hosts had suffered two further blows.
First Hodgson missed with a simple 30 metre penalty before Sarries conceded a second try.
Drauniniu and David Lemi combined cleverly to take Worcester deep into the home 22 and from the resulting line-out Matt Kvesic was driven over for the try which Gray converted.
Stunned by the reverse, the complacent Saracens resumed control with a driving line-out try of their own with Carlos Nieto the scorer.
Hodgson converted and added his third penalty before late tries from Chris Ashton and Jackson Wray, both converted by Hodgson, ensured that the final scoreline was an accurate reflection of the game.
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 20
Mark McCall slammed Josh Matavesi for his 'horrendous' challenge on Neil de Kock during Saracens' win over Worcester.
London Welsh will finish bottom of the Aviva Premiership after losing 31-14 to Northampton Saints.
Rob Baxter was delighted with his Exeter team for keeping their Heineken Cup hopes alive with victory over London Irish.