Sarries leave Gaffney pink with embarrassment

SARACENS’ director of rugby Alan Gaffney admitted his players’ faces were as pink as their shirts after the 40-29 defeat to Wasps that kept Ian McGeechan’s men on track for the Premiership play-offs.

Gaffney’s men wore pink jerseys in support of Breast Cancer Care and they were equally as charitable in defence as Raphael Ibanez, Tom Voyce and Paul Sackey added to Dominic Waldouck’s brace to blitz the home side in a frantic opening half.

“The first 40 minutes were close to the most embarrassing I’ve been involved in,” said Gaffney, who drew little comfort from seeing Francisco Leonelli record a second hat-trick in as many home Premiership games.

And Gaffney warned his side that they cannot afford a repeat of the slack defending that allowed Wasps to run riot when they face Munster in next weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final.

“If we go through that exercise in conceding tries again next week, the team that punish sides the most is the side we’re playing next week,” he said. “They punish sides more than anybody I’ve seen. We’ve got to make them play and earn the points they score, not us concede them.”

Wasps’ victory rounded off their eighth straight win and third in a week that has yielded 14 points to take them third in the table. They have three games remaining — against Gloucester, Newcastle and Leeds Carnegie — to seal their place in the semi-finals.

Saracens scorers — Tries: Leonelli 3, Haughton, de Kock. Cons: Jackson 2.

Wasps scorers — Tries: Ibanez, Voyce, Waldouck 2, Sackey, Reddan. Cons: Cipriani 5.

SARACENS: Haughton, Leonelli, Sorrell, Powell, Ratuvou, Jackson, de Kock, Lloyd, Ongaro, Johnson, Vyvyan, Ryder, Gustard, Barrell, Skirving.

Replacements: Penney for Sorrell (64), Ross for Jackson (76), Rauluni for de Kock (76), Cairns for Ongaro (47), Visagie for Johnson (22), Fullarton for Vyvyan (54), Seymour for Barrell (72).

WASPS: van Gisbergen, Sackey, Waldouck, Lewsey, Voyce, Cipriani, Reddan, Payne, Ibanez, Barnard, Shaw, Palmer, Worsley, Rees, Dallaglio.

Replacements: McMillan for Reddan (64), Ward for Ibanez (24), French for Barnard (4), Skivington for Palmer (72), Haskell for Dallaglio (54), Hoadley for French (75).

Referee: D Pearson (Newcastle).

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