Strettle shows class to fire Sarries and condemn Leeds

LEEDS CARNEGIE (14) vs SARACENS (26)

DAVID STRETTLE marked his first start for Saracens with a try as Brendan Venter’s side condemned bottom-club Leeds to a third straight defeat.

England winger Strettle touched down for his second try since his summer move from Harlequins on 26 minutes to put Sarries in control at a wet and windy Headingley.

Hooker Schalk Brits drove over for a second try, while fly-half Derick Hougaard added 16 points with the boot as Venter’s men moved up to fourth in the Aviva Premiership table.

Leeds handed England hooker Steve Thompson his first start but found themselves behind on three minutes when Hougaard notched the first of his four penalties.

And Sarries never looked back with Strettle latching onto Neil De Kock’s kick to touch down.

A Christian Lewis-Platt penalty, coupled with a brace from his replacement, Leigh Hinton, just about kept the hosts in the contest, but Hougaard’s trusted boot and Brits’ try sealed a comfortable win despite a late consolation try from James Tincknell.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lamb returned to haunt former club Gloucester as London Irish climb into second place with a 23-16 victory.

Fly-half Lamb, released by Gloucester in the summer of 2009, converted five out of five kicks for a 13-point haul to help the Exiles to a second win of the campaign.

Hooker James Buckland and No8 George Stowers scored tries in each half, while Lesley Vainikolo touched down for Gloucester.