Planet Rugby

Saracens steal a march on Exiles

23rd March 2007 21:55

Share:

Delon Armitage

Delon Armitage scores London Irish's consolation try

London Irish never recovered from going down to a 0-17 deficit in the first 15 minutes, losing 7-22 in the Guinness Premiership on Friday, with the bonus-point win taking Sarries third in the table.

Left wing Kameli Ratuvou, Full back Thomas Castaignede and fly-half Glen Jackson, who also landed a conversion, were the scorers as free-flowing Saracens shredded the Irish defence.

But the visitors had to wait until the 76th minute before Dan Scarbrough kicked through for replacement winger Tomas de Vedia to score their fourth try in the corner and secure what could yet prove to be a vital bonus point in their bid for a place in the Championship top-four play-offs.

The final strike by Saracens ended any lingering hope for Irish, whose second-half revival was sparked by a try and conversion from full-back Delon Armitage.

Ratuvou, the Fijian flyer, struck the first blow in the third minute with his third Premiership try of the week.

Scarbrough set up the chance and Ratuvou, scorer of two tries in Sunday's 36-5 home victory over Bristol, left Armitage standing as he raced past him.

Scarbrough was the provider again in the 11th minute when he kicked ahead after Irish spilled the ball in the Saracens half and won the 60-metre chase to send France international Castaignede in for the second try.

Four minutes later Jackson touched down following a spell of Saracens pressure which began when Irish's England fly-half discovery Shane Geraghty hesitated momentarily and was beaten to a bouncing ball on the halfway line by former Ireland hooker Shane Byrne.

The 20-year-old Geraghty endured a torrid return from Six Nations duty.

He saw an eighth-minute penalty kick rattle the post and rebound into play, failed with a first-half drop goal attempt and then knocked on after right-wing Topsy Ojo penetrated the Saracens midfield.

Geraghty's misery finally came to an end when he limped off in the 43rd minute to be replaced by Nils Mordt, after Ojo has squandered a three-man overlap by knocking on.

Irish finally pulled themselves back into the game when replacement flanker Declan Danahar drew two Saracens players to release Armitage on a 30-metre run for his try.

Armitage narrowly missed a penalty from the halfway line but the home side's hopes were nullified by in-form Saracens who have now only lost one of their last seven Premiership matches.

They were denied a fourth when Ratuvou put a foot in touch as he burst down the left wing, but the bonus point was eventually obtained courtesy of de Vedia.

The scorers:

For London Irish:

Try: Armitage

Con: Armitage

For Saracens:

Tries: Ratuvou, Castaignède, Jackson, De Vedia

Con: Jackson

London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Seilala Mapusaua, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Juan Leguizamon, 7 Olivier Magne, 6 Kieran Roche, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 James Hudson, 3 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 2 Robbie Russell, 1 Neal Hatley.

Replacements: 16 Michael Collins, 17 David Paice, 18 Nick Kennedy, 19 Phil Murphy, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Barry Everitt, 22 Nils Mordt.

Saracens: 15 Thomas Castaignede,14 Dan Scarbrough, 13 Kevin Sorrell, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Kameli Ratuvou, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Richard Hill, 6 Kris Chesney, 5 Simon Raiwalui (c), 4 Iain Fullarton, 3 Cencus Johnston, 2 Shane Byrne, 1 Kevin Yates

Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Tom Mercey, 18 Hugh Vyvyan, 19 David Seymour, 20 Moses Rauluni, 21 Rodd Penney, 22 Tomas de Vedia

Referee: Chris White

Touch judges: Paul Emerson, David Kurk

Television match official: Bob Ockenden

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00