Lo­zowski is cen­tre stage as Sara­cens re­turn to top

The Observer - Sport - - Rugby Union Gallagher Premiership -

They in­creased it with two more Madi­gan penal­ties while shut­ting out their op­po­nents who need to get a grip in a league that has no re­spect for rep­u­ta­tion.



One of the Premier­ship’s ru­n­away lead­ers fal­ters ; the other strides out with a cer­tain in­evitabil­ity. Sara­cens go top, the only team un­beaten, nine from nine. Their un­beaten run in all com­pe­ti­tions ex­tends to 20, their last de­feat be­ing to Le­in­ster in the quar­ter- fi nals of Europe in April.

They were a long way from their best, a some­what makeshift line- up in this awk­ward week­end be­tween the au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als and Europe, but they had too much for a sim­i­larly un­fa­mil­iar Wasps team. This was not the try- fest of last sea­son’s Premier­ship play- off be­tween these two but the dom­i­nance of the one side over the other was very much the same, even if it took a while to trans­late into points. “I’m most pleased that we didn’t be­come frus­trated by the ter­ri­tory and posses­sion we had,” said Sara­cens’ di­rec­tor of rugby, Mark McCall.

Alex Lo­zowski, who had won the kick­ing au­di­tion over Alex Goode in the ab­sence of Owen Far­rell and Ben Spencer, col­lected 19 points, land­ing seven from seven. Hav­ing ex­celled on the wing last week, he moved into the cen­tre this, where he is hap­pi­est.

Op­po­site him was an­other Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, El­liot Daly, whose coach also de­scribed him as hap­pi­est in the No13 shirt, even if Eng­land are play­ing him at full- back these days. Fur­ther ev­i­dence of his dis­com­fort at No15 was sup­plied by his hand­ing Sara­cens a late try to seal the win, cov­er­ing back to fi eld Lo­zowski’s long clear­ance and fl in­g­ing the ball infi eld to Nick Isiekwe for a sim­ple try.

A ma­raud­ing Maro Itoje takes the game to Wasps as Sara­cens took ad­van­tage of Ex­eter’s Fri­day night fal­ter against Har­lequins

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