Updated: Sunday, 29 December 2013 03:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Saracens tighten grip with win at Worcester

English Premiership leaders Saracens made it 10 wins from 11 games with a 26-8 success at bottom club Worcester on Saturday that nudged their opponents closer towards relegation.

Saracens tighten grip with win at Worcester

David Strettle prepares to catch the ball during a training session in Bagshot, south-east England, on March 15, 2012

Wing David Strettle, South African hooker Schalk Brits, full-back Alex Goode and fly-half Charlie Hodgson each claimed a try, with Hodgson adding three conversions at Sixways Stadium.

Worcester scored first through an Ignacio Mieres penalty and saw Leonardo Senatore cross for a 37th-minute try, but they could make no inroads on the visitors' lead in a scoreless second period.

The defeat left Worcester nine points adrift at the foot of the table.

"We scored four wonderful tries in the first 30 minutes and fought for each other in the second half. It is a very satisfying result for us," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"We have struggled down at Sixways in the last four seasons and lost here, so to come and get a bonus-point win, we are really happy.

"The scoreline was unfortunate for Worcester as they fronted up but we were very clinical and took our chances.

"You see it often that you have the job done early, you have the bonus point in the bag, you have important games coming up and as much as you would like to sustain a performance for 80 minutes, sometimes it does not happen."

Northampton remain Saracens' closest rivals, three points back in second, after running in six tries in a 43-25 success at home to third-place Bath that reasserted their title credentials.

George Pisi, Jamie Elliott, Samu Manoa and George North added to a brace of tries by lock Christian Day, with Stephen Myler adding 13 points with the boot.

Third-placed Bath had been chasing a 12th consecutive victory in all competitions but they left Franklin's Gardens without even the consolation of a losing bonus point and now trail Saints by nine points.

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder paid special tribute to North, describing the Wales wing's performance as "outstanding".

"After that first 10 to 15 minutes he got us going, he got us on the front foot with his carrying, he got us on the front foot with his high balls," Mallinder said.

"And just to see his defensive work in the 80th minute to cut them out there, that was excellent too. It's taken him a little bit of time but he showed why he's a world-class player."

Harlequins, champions in 2012, tightened their grip on fourth place with a 22-6 success at home to Exeter, while fifth-placed Leicester survived a stirring second-half comeback from Sale in a 30-23 win at Welford Road.

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