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Premiership: Saracens 40-22 Exeter Chiefs - Owen Farrell kicks 15 points in first game since Racing 92 news

Saracens' Owen Farrell and Ivan van Zyl
Owen Farrell's drop goal from 40 metres in the second half helped Saracens pull away from Exeter Chiefs

Gallagher Premiership

Saracens:(15) 40

Tries: Hadfield 2, van Zyl, Gonzalez, McFarland Cons: Farrell 3 Pens: Farrell 2 Drop-goal: Farrell

Exeter: (15) 22

Tries: Woodburn, Fisilau, Tuima Cons: Hodge 2 Pens: Hodge

Owen Farrell kicked 15 points as he led Saracens to a 40-22 win over Exeter Chiefs in his first game since his move to Racing 92 was announced.

The sides were level 15-15 at the break as tries from James Hadfield and Ivan van Zyl were matched by scores from Chiefs' Olly Woodburn and Greg Fisilau.

Exeter's Rus Tuima ended a wonderful move for one of the tries of the season to bring the scores to 22-22.

But a Farrell penalty and drop-goal, and a second Hadfield try sealed the win.

Theo McFarland wrapped it up in stoppage time after Farrell's kick into the in-goal area was mistimed by Ben Hammersley and the forward dotted down.

The bonus-point win for Saracens moves them a point above Exeter into fourth place in the Premiership, eight points off leaders Northampton Saints and a point behind Harlequins and Bath.

Both sides were shorn of their England players who are away at a Six Nations training camp, but there were still plenty of stars on show.

As well as Farrell, who will move to Paris in the summer on a two-year deal, Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins lined up in Exeter's pack while compatriot Nick Tompkins was in Saracens' midfield. Scotland's Andy Christie and Alec Hepburn were on opposite sides as well.

But it was Hadfield, who joined Saracens after Jersey Reds went bust in September, who opened the scoring as he was mauled over from a sixth-minute line-out for his first Premiership try.

Exeter replied almost immediately when Woodburn dived over in the corner after the Chiefs forwards had blasted up the field, but the parity was short-lived as Olly Hartley's darting run from halfway was followed up by a powerful charge from Christie and his offload set up van Zyl to score after 14 minutes.

Both sides made errors in a fast-paced opening quarter with Saracens caught napping as a short five-metre line-out to Fisilau resulted in the number eight blasting over for Exeter's second try after 25 minutes before Farrell and Josh Hodge swapped penalties.

Hodge was partly at fault for Juan Martin Gonzalez's try straight after the break as Stu Townsend fumbled a high ball under pressure from Rotimi Segun and the flanker kicked the loose ball towards the tryline, only for Hodge to scuff a clearing kick and allow Gonzalez to dot down.

But Hodge made amends 10 minutes later as he picked up the ball on his own line, beat a couple of players, and made it all the way past halfway before a quick bit of passing between Woodburn and Townsend created the space for Tuima to come through and go in for a length-of-the-field score.

Farrell, playing during the Six Nations training period for the first time since announcing he was stepping back from England duty, created the gap his side needed with a penalty and then a drop-goal from 40 metres to give the hosts a 28-22 lead midway through the second half.

McFarland's barnstorming run down the right wing four minutes later set up Hadfield to go over for his second close-range score, and McFarland capped off the win with a fortuitous try with the final play.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"The last 13 days have been the most enjoyable of the season.

"It got a little bit better in the Lyon game and a lot better here, we were great in the last 25 minutes. It tells me there's something good in the room.

"We've gone back to some Saracens fundamentals on and off the field. We've had a really good balance in the last 13 days of a bit of play and some hard work, and that's paid off.

"We're in the mix now. It feels like there's going to be a sprint to the line.

"There are eight or nine teams that can qualify for the top four and, hopefully, we can build on what we've done in the last two weeks."

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

"To be fair we probably got what we deserved.

"Rugby's a good game, you tend to get what you deserve and I think Saracens got what they deserved, they held things together for longer than we did and they certainly were more clinical, more accurate.

"It's a frustrating game for us because we've turned up, we've put a lot into the game and ultimately too many individual mistakes have just killed us.

"It was almost like everybody who had a mistake in them in an area of their game made it.

"They just added up and added up and added up until there were so many through the game that we just couldn't get that continuity.

"Our fight's there, our spirit's there, I can work with that, that's great to have, but actually our accuracy's just missing a little bit in these past couple of weeks."

Saracens: Goode; Segun, Tompkins, Hartley, Lewington; Farrell (capt), van Zyl; Mulipola, Hadfield, Judge, McFarland, Tizard, Gonzalez, Christie, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Crean, Mawi, Hoskins, Stonham, Knight, Simpson, Cinti, Parton.

Exeter: Hodge; Hammersley, Wimbush, Devoto, Woodburn; Skinner, Townsend; Hepburn, Yeandle, Street, Tuima, Jenkins (capt), Pearson, Vermeulen, Fisilau.

Replacements: Frost, Southworth, Iosefa-Scott, Dunne, Vintcent, Cairns, McCaig, Relton.

Referee: Karl Dickson.