• Schalk’s Sarries march on

    Saracens ground out a 27-12 win over bitter rivals the Northampton Saints, while there were also victories for Gloucester, Exeter and Bath in the English Premiership.

    Saracens, featuring former Stormers back-row duo Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes, didn’t have it all their way but a surging second-half performance guided them to a hard-fought triumph over the spirited Saints.

    Strong defence from both sides in the first half saw pivots Stephen Myler and Alex Lozowski  trade penalties for a 9-9 scoreline at the break.

    And while Myler nailed a fourth penalty goal at the resumption, they only led briefly.

    Ill-discipline then came into play as the Saints went into self-destruct mode. They conceded a yellow card for foul play and Saracens capitalised with two quick scores – including a penalty try – for an insurmountable lead. Lozowski added one of the conversions and two further penalties to wrap up Sarries’ third straight win of the new campaign.

    In other round-three results, Gloucester beat the Sale Sharks 26-3 to move up to fourth in the standings, flyhalf Tim Swiel’s 10-point haul wasn’t enough for Harlequins, who suffered a 36-25 defeat at the hands of the Exeter Chiefs, and Bath claimed a 37-22 bonus-point win against the Worcester Warriors at the Rec.

    On Sunday, Wasps host Bristol in Coventry and the Newcastle Falcons welcome the Leicester Tigers.

    Round 3 results:

    Saracens 27 Northampton Saints 12
    Gloucester 26 Sale Sharks 13
    Exeter Chiefs 36 Harlequins 25
    Bath 37 Worcester Warriors 22

    Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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    Mariette Adams