Sarries win with 14 men

Saracens beat Gloucester 25-12 in London, while there were also Premiership wins for Harlequins, Worcester, Wasps, Exeter and Newcastle.

Saracens fullback Ben Ransom scored the first try in the second minute of the match, with flyhalf Charlie Hodgson adding the extras. Sarries were then reduced to 14 men when centre Brad Barritt was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle on Gloucester flank Ross Moriarty.

Gloucester flyhalf James Hook and Hodgson traded penalties as Sarries maintained a seven-point advantage. In the 30th minute, the hosts were temporarily reduced to 13 men when hooker Schalk Brits was red-carded by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys after being judged to have struck Gloucester prop Nick Wood. Hook and Hodgson traded penalties as Sarries led 13-6 at the break.

The Gloucester pivot added two more penalties in the second half, but his opposite number slotted four to hand Sarries the win.

Elsewhere on Saturday, South African scrumhalf Francois Hougaard scored a try on debut for the Worcester Warriors, who beat the Sale Sharks 31-23 after leading 21-8 at half-time. Winger Frank Halai scored a brace as Wasps saw off Bath 24-18 at the Recreation Ground.

On Sunday, the Exeter Chiefs returned to winning ways by beating London Irish 22-15 in Reading after trailing 7-6 at half-time. The Newcastle Falcons withstood a brave fightback from the Northampton Saints to win 26-25 at home. The Falcons led 20-11 at the break, and while the Saints scored two converted second-half tries, it was not enough to snatch victory.

On Friday, flyhalf Ben Botica kicked 20 points as Harlequins beat the Leicester Tigers 25-19 in London after the sides were locked at 9-9 at the break. Both sides scored converted second-half tries, but three penalties from Botica put Quins over the line.

Round 13 results:

Harlequins 25 Leicester Tigers 19
Saracens 25 Gloucester 12
Worcester Warriors 31 Sale Sharks 23
Bath 18 Wasps 24
London Irish 15 Exeter Chiefs 22
Newcastle Falcons 26 Northampton Saints 25

Saracens coach defends Schalk Brits

Photo: Stephen Bond/Getty Images