Saracens put down an Aviva Premiership marker as they saw off Bath 34-24 at Allianz Park on Sunday.
Saracens lead 11-3 at half-time, thanks to a try from Chris Wyles and a penalty apiece from Charlie Hodgson and Alex Goode, but put the visitors to the sword after the break with scores from Jamie George and Chris Ashton with Goode kicking a further 13 points. Bath replied through two tries from Samesa Rokoduguni and one from Olly Woodburn while new signing Tom Homer kicked nine points.
After a frantic opening 10 minutes, Homer settled things down for Bath with his first successful penalty kick of the afternoon as Sarries openside Jacques Burger was penalised for going off his feet at ruck time. Bath openside Francois Louw looked to have gotten himself into a great position to steal the ball on the deck but referee Luke Pearce disagreed, allowing Hodgson to draw the sides level in the 20th minute.
Alistair Hargreaves was having a big afternoon with the skipper's powerful break setting up the first try of the game. Following the lock's big carry, quick hands from Hodgson, Goode and George released winger Wyles in the left corner. Hodgson failed with the touchline conversion as Saracens recovered from a sluggish start to lead 8-3.
Former Exiles full back Homer was impressing for his new club and, after he fielded Neil de Kock's box-kick, showed great feet to evade several Saracens defenders before Louw was pinged for going off his feet at the resulting breakdown. Goode, who had assumed the goal kicking duties from Hodgson, made no mistake from the tee. Bath blew a golden opportunity to cross the Sarries line just before the break following Rokoduguni's powerful run down the right touchline after great hands by Sam Burgess and Homer in the build-up.
Henry Thomas continued the attack, but fly half Ollie Devoto, with men to spare on his left, chose to switch direction and threw a forward pass to England international Kyle Eastmond as Sarries got off the hook. Powerful scrummaging from the Saracens pack allowed Goode to fire over his second penalty of the afternoon as the home side made an ideal start to the second half.
Sarries soon had their second try as Jackson Wray's powerful carry allowed Ashton to put George over. Goode fired over the conversion as Saracens raced into a 21-3 lead. Bath's response was immediate as Devoto burst through the Sarries midfield before sending Rokoduguni through for the easiest of scores with Homer tagging on the extras.
The tries continued to flow as Ashton pounced on Goode's deft grubber kick to touch down in the right corner. Goode's conversion took Saracens out to 28-10. Saracens had Bath in all kinds of trouble at the scrum once more allowing Goode to bisect the posts with another three-pointer in the 58th minute.
With his side trailing 31-10 with 10 minutes remaining, Eastmond stepped up to spark a late revival for Bath. The diminutive centre created late tries for Woodburn and Rokoduguni with a sublime mix of handling and footwork. Homer converted both scores as Bath cut the lead to 31-24. But Saracens had the final say as Goode made the result safe with a 76th minute penalty to round off a breathless second half.