x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Brits try takes Saracens to top of table

Saracens defied the early loss of Steve Borthwick, the England captain, to preserve the only unbeaten record in the Premiership and move top of the table.

Saracens defied the early loss of Steve Borthwick, the England captain, to preserve the only unbeaten record in the Premiership and move top of the table. The replacement hooker Schalk Brits scored the decisive try and the fly-half Glen Jackson chipped in with 14 points as Gloucester went down 19-16 for their third straight defeat. The away side had taken a second-minute lead through Rory Lawson's try and maintained that advantage until Brits, one of many South African imports at Saracens this summer, barged over in the 67th minute.

Nicky Robinson landed three penalties and a conversion but he missed with an injury-time drop goal that would have earned Gloucester a draw. Borthwick was forced off after just 13 minutes with a cut to his left eye after clashing with the Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam. Two of Saracens' local rivals were in action in Reading, where London Irish beat Wasps 28-14 thanks to two tries by Pacific Island back Sailosi Tagicakibau.

Ryan Lamb continued his new lease of life after his summer switch from Gloucester by landing four penalties and a conversion as he won his fly-half duel with Danny Cipriani. Cipriani himself struck three penalties and a conversion, while the other Wasps points arrived via a penalty try. Leicester's delight at scoring their first try of the season at Bath on Saturday night has been off-set by an injury to Geordan Murphy. The Tigers drew 20-20, but the Irish full-back and club captain appeared to dislocate his shoulder in an effort to touch down his own kick at the Recreation Ground.

Leicester's head coach Richard Cockerill will get the physio's report on Murphy's status today. He said: "His shoulder's popped out and gone back in and he's a bit sore. It's probably the one real downside of the evening." sports@thenational.ae