Planet Rugby

Exiles hold on for a valuable win

01st March 2008 15:37

Share:

Adam Powell of Sarries has a break against Exiles

Close Call: Saracens slipped to another defeat

London Irish edged a thrilling Guinness Premiership encounter against Saracens on Saturday at the Madejski Stadium, hanging on for a 27-24 victory.

Despite the return to fitness of Glen Jackson, Saracens slumped to a fifth loss in their last seven games as the fly-half missed a penalty in the final minute.

Saracens have now scored just eight tries in their last six games and with Exiles' Peter Hewat in fine form to notch up 17 points, Ben Skirving and Kameli Ratuvou touchdowns were never going to be enough for the visitors.

After an opening five minutes dominated by Saracens, the mercurial Jackson kicked the first points in the seventh minute with a 30-metre penalty in front of the posts.

Irish, who controversially slumped against Saracens back in November, were in front by 14 minutes as two penalties from Hewat handed the Exiles the advantage.

Saracens were reduced to 14 men in the 26th minute when lock Kris Chesney was sin-binned for diving over at the breakdown.

Hewat kicked another penalty to take Irish six points clear only to be pegged back after Jackson slotted his second penalty after thirty minutes.

Irish doubled the lead three minutes later when Hewat kicked a penalty from 20 metres after Saracens second-rower Hugh Vyvyan was caught with his hands in the ruck.

But a Skirving try two minutes before the break was converted by Jackson, meaning Sarries took a one-point lead into the interval against the run of play.

Jackson extended his side's lead and his tally with another three points in the 49th minute after the New Zealander had missed a kick minutes earlier.

London Irish regained the lead in the 54th minute after winger Topsy Ojo broke through the Sarries back line. The former England U21 international slipped the ball to Tagicakibau and the 24-year-old went over for his first of the season.

Another breakaway try four minutes later from Tiesi kept the Exiles in front as they mounted yet more misery on their guests.

Jackson reduced the deficit to five points when he converted another penalty as Sarries started a mini-revival.

But the home side fought back and Hewat extended Irish's lead in an economical kicking display taking his personal tally to 17 points.

Ratuvou went over for Sarries in the 74th minute but it proved too little too late for the out-of-form visitors as Jackson missed his kick late on.

The Scorers:

For London Irish:

Tries: Tagicakibau, Tiesi

Con: Hewat

Pens: Hewat 5

For Saracens:

Tries: Skirving, Ratuvou

Con: Jackson

Pens: Jackson 4

Yellow Card: Chesney (Saracens - 26th minute)

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Delon Armitage, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Mike Catt, 9 Paul Hodgson,8 Richard Thorpe,7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Kieran Roche, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Tonga Lea'aetoa,

Replacements: 16 Dan Murphy, 17 Stuart Mackie, 18 Richard Skuse, 19 James Hudson, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Gonzalo Tiesi

Saracens: 15 Dan Scarborough, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Francisco Leonelli, 12 Adam Powell 11 Rodd Penney, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Neil De Kock (c), 8 Ben Skirving, 7 David Seymour, 6 Paul Gustard, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Nick Lloyd.

Replacements: 16 Andy Kyriacou, 17 Cencus Johnston, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Kris Chesney, 20 Alan Dickens, 21 Brent Russell, 22 Kameli Ratuvou.

Referee: Dave Pearson

Touch judges: Andrew Pearce, Roger Baileff

Television match official: Bob Ockenden

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954