Alex Goode had about a minute to readjust from his full back role and switch to fly half on Friday night but the England international took it all in his stride as he guided his team to their fifth successive win at The Rec in the 23-10 win over Bath.
With Charlie Hodgson ruled out through illness just before kick-off, Goode was thrust into the fly half shirt but a 13 point haul from the playmaker and tries from Chris Wyles and David Strettle on his 100th appearance for the club secured the win and opened up a 13 point gap from third placed Bath.
“I found out literally a minute before kick-off,” said Goode. “And you can’t think about much then, you just have to get on with it. But the boys gave me a lot of support and they were outstanding and the effort was excellent across the team both defensively and we showed some good things in attack.
“We were full of energy and we ran hard and we were very happy after a performance where we had to dig in when we were up against it.”
Saracens were 10-3 ahead with time running out in the first half, but were camped in their own 22 with Bath pressing hard, but great defence forced a mistake from the home side and within seconds, Strettle was touching down at the other end to make the half time score 17-3.
Goode added: “That try just before half time was a big turning point. They were pushing and pushing and they made one mistake and we went upfield to score. Neither Duncan Taylor or I fancied running the length of the field so it was great play from Brad Barritt to pick out the century man Strettle.
“This was a big performance and to come here and stop them playing says wonders about our defence and desire.”