Planet Rugby

Saracens grind past Exiles

04th December 2011 15:55

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Ernst Joubert Saracens v London Irish dec 2011

Taking route one: Ernst Joubert

Five penalties from Owen Farrell were enough to see Saracens claim a 15-11 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

London Irish scored the only try of the game but will have to settle for a losing bonus point.

Exiles opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Tom Homer kicked a penalty, following early pressure on the back of determined work from Chris Hala'ufia.

Saracens bounced back almost immediately though and were six points up by the twenty-minute mark. First, Owen Farrell coolly slotted over a kick after the Exiles had missed the chance add another three points, and then added two more goals to put Saracens 9-3 up.

But the home side were temporarily reduced to 14 men when John Smit was dispatched to the sin-bin for picking up the ball in an offside position.

The visitors were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage and, though Saracens absorbed most of the pressure for the remainder of the half, it was they who had a try ruled out when James Short knocked on as he crashed over in the corner.

The second half began at a steady pace, with the two sides trading further penalties around the 50-minute mark.

Saracens edged further in front on 70 minutes, when Farrell maintained his one hundred percent record with the boot to edge the home side into an eight point lead.

Irish rallied, and got their just rewards on 76 minutes when David Paice crossed out wide after a period of sustained Exiles pressure.

The conversion was missed, however, meaning that the visitors needed to find another try if they were to win the game, and Saracens were able to hold on and secure victory.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Pens: Farrell 5

For London Irish:
Try: Paice
Pens: Homer, Bowden

Yellow card: Smit (Saracens - 11th min);

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Adam Powell, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 John Smit, 1 Matt Stevens.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 David Strettle.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Dan Bowden (Captain), 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'ufia 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 James Buckland, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Clarke Dermody, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Guy Armitage, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Darren Allinson

Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Andrew Small

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