Planet Rugby

Hodgson leads Sarries comeback

14th April 2012 16:48

Share:

Chris Wyles Saracens London Irish

Testing the Exiles defence: Chris Wyles

Charlie Hodgson kicked two drop goals as Saracens came from behind to beat London Irish 28-19 at Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Saracens didn't get out of first gear but were able to rely on Hodgson's boot to kick them to victory.

The Premiership's top points-scorer of all time and its top scorer this season, Hodgson and Tom Homer, perhaps unsurprisingly dominated the scoring early on with Homer kicking nine points to Hodgson's six.

The first half never really got going with Delon Armitage, who is off to Toulon next season, providing a rare moment of inspiration to break down the right wing for a try just before the half-hour mark.

Irish probably deserved their eight-point lead at that stage but Sarries showed why they have been at the top end of the table all season, going into the half-time interval just two points adrift despite a relatively poor display thanks to two more Hodgson penalties.

And when Jamie Gibson was sinbinned ten minutes into the second half, Saracens took full advantage of the extra man with yet another Hodgson penalty and a pushover try for Will Fraser after a long drive from the pack.

London Irish clung onto their coattails though and after Gibson returned, he combined with Bryn Evans to set up Armitage for his second try of the match to reduce the home side's arrears to just three points.

After Hodgson had edged Sarries further in front with his seventh successful kick of the afternoon, Fraser was yellow-carded for a poor tackle on Homer to give Irish a chance of pulling off a shock victory.

But, although they did have a number of opportunities, they were unable to grab the converted try they needed. Instead, the Saracens defence stood firm and that man Hodgson sealed the victory with a drop goal in the final minutes.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Try: Armitage 2
Pens: Homer 3

For Saracens:
Try: Fraser
Con: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson 5
Drops: Hodgson 2

Yellow cards: Gibson (London Irish - 52nd min); Fraser (Saracens - 71st min)

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer 14 Delon Armitage, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Joe Ansbro, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Jamie Gibson , 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans , 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Alex Corbisiero (c).
Replacements: 16 James Buckland 17 Max Lahiff 18 Leo Halavatau 19 Jebb Sinclair 20 Alex Gray 21 Topsy Ojo 22 Steve Shingler 23 Ross Samson

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Joel Tomkins.

Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Martin Fox

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs Griquas19:10
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
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
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas 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
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00