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Sarries leave it late to down Sale, Bath and Saints win

By Peter Thompson
Saracens lock Joel Kpoku

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Joel Kpoku scored the decisive try on his Premiership debut as Saracens left it late to go top of the table with a 31-25 victory over Sale Sharks, while Bath and Northampton Saints also claimed wins on Saturday.


Chris Wyles came out of retirement to start for a depleted Sarries side, who were facing a first defeat of the season in all competitions before Kpoku came off the bench to win it at Allianz Park on Saturday.

The champions led 21-13 at half-time courtesy of tries from Michael Rhodes, Alex Lewington and Nick Tompkins – all converted by Ben Spencer.

Byron McGuigan’s score on the stroke of half-time gave Sale a lift and four penalties from Robert du Preez took his tally to 20 points, giving Steve Diamond’s men a four-point lead with 12 minutes to play.

Saracens were not to be denied a seventh Premiership win out of seven, though, teenage lock Kpoku crossing following a driving maul from a lineout with seven minutes remaining, with Spencer converting and landing a penalty right at the end.

Bath ended a run of seven matches without a win with a 30-13 success over Worcester Warriors at The Rec.


Semesa Rokoduguni, Tom Ellis and Elliott Stooke crossed, while Freddie Burns booted 13 points as Bath moved up to sixth. 

Wasps suffered only their third Premiership defeat of the season, Northampton scoring five tries in a 36-17 victory at Franklin’s Gardens.


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