Another fine display from Owen Farrell was enough for Saracens to bounce back from the disappointment of successive defeats against Biarritz and Northampton. Reigning league champions, Sarries were outclassed all over the field as they were blitzed by Northampton last weekend but bounced back to grind out a hard earned victory over Irish on Sunday.
The game lacked the flair and free flowing style that saw Saracens dominate last season, but it was enough for them to get back to winning ways and continue the push to keep up with early pace setters Harlequins.
In a sea of mediocrity the one shining light for Saracens was Farrell’s flawless kicking display. He kicked all 15 of Sarries points, finishing the game with a 100% record from his 5 attempts. Farrell is now being tipped to earn an England call up thanks to his kicking display. In the same week as Farrell impressed so much with his performance for his team his father, Rugby League convert Andy Farrell was named as a coach in the temporary England set up. Since his appointment Farrell Snr. has declared that his son is in contention.
Saracens’ and Farrell’s performances at the weekend summed up their season’s so far. With Sarries lacking the impressive performances which saw them crowned champions last year, relying more on efficient displays to remain in contention this year. Farrell has been a constant impressive asset to his team and was no different against Irish last weekend. The Saracens defence was solid and they did enough in attack to give Farrell chances to add enough points to see off the London Irish challenge.
With Quins continuing to rumble on with their seemingly inevitable charge to finishing top of the regular season table the pressure is on Saracens to ensure they finish second, securing a home play-off berth and to put pressure on Harlequins should they slip up. With the teams from third down to eleventh separated by just eight points it is essential for Sarries to avoid being drawn into a fight for the remaining play-off spots which looks set to go right to the wire. Owen Farrell will be central to their hopes, and who knows he could also be central to any future successes for England.