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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 01 Sep 2012
Kick Off: 16:30
Referee: Wayne Barnes
TV Match Official: Trevor Fisher
Assistant Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant Referee: Robin Goodliffe
Debutant, Chris Ashton, crossed for two tries with Brad Barritt and Nils Mordt ensuring the bonus point victory.
London Irish and Saracens both had their work cut out if they were to replicate the performances of Wasps and Harlequins in the London Double Header’s first match try fest.
The first half was anything like the first match as defence from both sets of sides dominated. Charlie Hodgson kicked the first points of the match on seven minutes as the Exiles were penalised at the breakdown. Steve Borthwick did dot down for Saracens a few minutes earlier, however the try was chalked off by the TMO for a forward pass. Referee, Wayne Barnes, queried the pass and was right to do so.
Marland Yarde came close to scoring for London Irish on 12 minutes. The winger broke down the left flank and beat three defenders, only to be dragged down five metres from the line. The England U20 International had a fantastic match in both attack and defence.
Alex Goode extended the Saracens lead with a straightforward penalty on 16 minutes, before Tom Homer kicked his first points of the campaign from 45 metres out. The full back had earlier missed two very difficult attempts.
Charlie Hodgson kicked two more penalty goals to give Saracens a 12-3 lead at the break.
Chris Ashton crossed two minutes into the second half with a trademark try. The England winger tracked the ball and was on hand to score when Chris Wyles passed the ball back inside. Hodgson kicked the conversion to put daylight between the sides 19-3.
The home side scored their second try after good interplay between the outside backs saw England centre Brad Barritt cross to further extend Saracens lead.
Irish enjoyed a strong spell of territory and possession in Saracens final third for the final quarter, but resilient home defence denied Irish scoring any points. Tom Homer almost regathered his chip kick but it was snatched from his grasp at the last second by Saracen replacement, James Short.
Chris Ashton added his second try seven minutes until time before former London Irish player, Nils Mordt scored the bonus point try two minutes later.
London Irish face Gloucester next Saturday at Madejski Stadium.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-3, 0-6, 3-6, 3-9, 3-12, 3-19, 3-26, 3-33, 3-40
Scorers: London Irish: Penalties: Homer (22); Saracens: Penalties: Hodgson (7,25,27), Goode (16); Conversions Hodgson (4); Tries: Ashton (42, 73), Barritt (48), Mordt (75)
1. Mako Vunipola (rep: Rhys Gill, 64); 2. Schalk Brits (rep: Jamie George, 65); 3. Petrus Du Plessis (rep: Carlos Nieto, 55); 4. Steve Borthwick (Captain); 5. Mouritz Botha (rep: Eoin Sheriff, 71); 6. Kelly Brown; 7. Will Fraser; (rep: Jackson Wray, 57) 8. Ernst Joubert; 9. Richard Wigglesworth (rep: Neil de Kock, 51); 10. Charlie Hodgson; 11. Chris Wyles; 12. Brad Barritt; 13. Joel Tomkins (rep: James Short, 64); 14. Chris Ashton; 15. Alex Goode (rep: Nils Mordt, 75)
Replacements: 16. Jamie George; 17; Rhys Gill; 18. Carlos Nieto; 19. Eoin Sheriff; 20. Jackson Wray; 21. Neil de Kock; 22. Nils Mordt; 23. James Short
London Irish team
1. Max Lahiff (rep: Halani Aulika, 53); 2. Scott Lawson (rep: Brian Blaney, 75); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Cai Griffiths, 57); 4. George Skivington (Kieran Low, 64); 5. Bryn Evans (Captain); 6. Jamie Gibson (rep: Alex Gray, 58); 7. Ofisa Treviranu; 8. Jon Fisher (rep: Declan Danaher, 53); 9. Tomás O’Leary (rep: Jack Moates, 67); 10. Steven Shingler; 11. Marland Yarde; 12. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 14. Topsy Ojo; 15. Tom Homer
Replacements: 16. Brian Blaney; 17. Halani Aulika; 18. Cai Griffiths; 19. Kieran Low; 20. Declan Danaher; 21. Alex Gray; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Jack Moates
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 63, 102