RUGBY : Saracens made it a magnificent seven successive Guinness Premiership victories with a 12-11 success at Bath to preserve their status as unbeaten leaders.
Saracens made it a magnificent seven successive Guinness Premiership victories with a 12-11 success at Bath to preserve their status as unbeaten leaders.
Their winning run represents the best start to a Premiership campaign by any club since Newcastle reeled off 12 straight triumphs on the way to title glory in 1997.
But while Brendan Venter’s side can look down on the rest, Bath remain in freefall. They have won just once from nine starts in all competitions, leaving them only six points above bottom club Leeds Carnegie, who have a game in hand.
Bath are also staring at an early Heineken Cup exit after two pool defeats on the bounce, and head coach Steve Meehan will be feeling acute pressure despite recently signing a new two-year contract.
There was plenty of honest toil from the Bath forwards but little spark in a back division crying out for the return of either Olly Barkley or Butch James.
A late try by captain Michael Claassens, following penalties from Ryan Davis and Jack Cuthbert, meant a tense finish, yet Saracens deserved to take the spoils.
They possessed comfortably the game’s most elusive runner in England Saxons wing Noah Cato, whose try just before half-time gave his team a degree of breathing space.
Flanker Andy Saull also crossed for the visitors, rounding off a sweeping early move, and with an aggressive Saracens pack enjoying some raw physical exchanges, Bath could make little headway.
They are already 19 points behind Saracens and Meehan needs to find answers quickly or Bath’s campaign is in danger of completely unravelling before Christmas.
Saracens though, march on after claiming only their second Premiership win at the Recreation Ground since 2001.