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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs SaracensBath vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand17:05
Argentina vs Australia19:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff BluesConnacht vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Ulster vs EdinburghUlster vs Edinburgh Preview
Zebre vs OspreysZebre vs Ospreys Preview
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs ToulonOyonnax vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Sharks vs LionsSharks vs Lions Preview
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411