Saracens hold off Sharks fightback
January 25, 2014
Hodgson scampers clear to score from an interception
© Getty Images
Two first-half tries were enough for Saracens as they overcame Super Rugby opponents Sharks 23-15 at Allianz Park.
David Strettle put Saracens in the driving seat early as the home side's superior fitness clearly showed against a side beginning their pre-season preparations. Sharks lost two men to the sin-bin in quick succession and the killer blow came on the stroke of half-time as Charlie Hodgson returned an interception for a try.
Saracens held a commanding 20-3 lead at half-time, a well-deserved return for a half of rugby which had seen them largely dictate the tempo. But the Sharks defended valiantly in the second period as their fresh replacements came into their own, but were still unable to find a way through.
A pair of late Sharks tries from Andre Esterhuizen and Heimar Williams made it an entertaining ending but Saracens were given a valuable eight-point buffer when Hodgson knocked over a late penalty - a lead they never relinquished.
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