Updated: Sunday, 22 December 2013 03:12 | By Agence France-Presse

Saracens thrash Leicester despite Farrell blow

Premiership leaders Saracens demonstrated their title credentials with a crushing 49-10 defeat of rivals Leicester on Saturday.

Saracens thrash Leicester despite Farrell blow

Saracens' wing Chris Ashton celebrates after he scored a try at Twickenham Stadium, southwest of London on April 6, 2013

On an afternoon of howling wind and driving rain, Chris Ashton crossed twice, Jack Wilson, Billy Vunipola and Jackson Wray each scored tries and referee Wayne Barnes also awarded a penalty try.

However, the game's closing stages were overshadowed by an injury to England fly-half Owen Farrell.

The 22-year-old was knocked out after his head made contact with the hip of Vereniki Goneva as he made a tackle and after receiving treatment for 10 minutes, he was stretchered off.

It curtailed a fine performance from Farrell, who had kicked three penalties and two conversions as Saracens condemned title rivals Leicester to their heaviest defeat of the season.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall played down the significance of the injury though, saying: "Owen has a bang on the head and will go through the normal protocols, but is fine.

"We're really pleased with the performance in both halves. Overall, every area of our game was very good."

Leicester's humiliation was compounded by the news that captain Toby Flood will leave the club at the end of the season.

Elsewhere, second-place Northampton kept Saracens within their sights by edging Wasps 17-15 in a dramatic game at Adams Park.

Wasps led 15-14 with 40 seconds to play, but they were penalised for an infringement at a scrum and Stephen Myler held his nerve to convert a decisive penalty from 40 metres out near the touchline.

"The referee made a couple of close decisions. He made a brave decision at the first scrum and we were lucky it went our way," said Northampton coach Jim Mallinder.

"Stephen Myler is steady in those circumstances and kicked very well throughout the game."

Third-place Bath beat fourth-place Harlequins 14-3, while Exeter defeated Newcastle 16-3.

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