Planet Rugby

Ashton fires as Sarries thrash Exiles

01st September 2012 18:26

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Chris Ashton try Saracens London Irish

Two tries: Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton scored two tries on debut for Saracens as they opened their Premiership campaign with a 40-3 demolition of London Irish at Twickenham.

Sarries took a deserved 12-3 half-time lead through the boot of Charlie Hodgson while Tom Homer responded with a penalty of his own for Irish.

The 2011 champions stepped up the pace in the second period as Ashton, Brad Barritt and Nils Mordt touched down to seal a comfortable victory.

Despite controlling the first period, the scoreline could have been tighter for the Saracens had Homer taken the three other opportunities that presented themselves.

Instead, it was Sarries' dead-eye marksman who provided the difference once again. Having already put his side in the lead with a three-pointer, Hodgson added another after Ofisa Treviranus was sin-binned for the Exiles.

Ashton then made an inauspicious start to his Saracens' career by getting yellow carded and they were made to pay when Homer finally got his side on the board.

However, two more penalties from the Sarries' fly-half took them nine points clear at the interval.

Despite an error-ridden opening half, the game sprung into life in the second period when Ashton made up for his earlier indiscretion by touching down.

He then helped set up the second converted score for Barritt as Saracens moved clear.

Irish tried in vain to get back into the game but, even when Kelly Brown was sin-binned, they struggled to break down a typically strong defence.

And the rout was sealed by two late tries from the England international winger and substitute Mordt, Hodgson adding the extras to both.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Ashton 2, Barritt, Mordt
Cons: Hodgson 4
Pens: Hodgson 3, Goode

For London Irish:
Pens: Homer

Yellow cards: (London Irish - 14th min); Ashton (Saracens - 18th min); Brown (Saracens - 59th min)

Saracens:15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 James Short.

London Irish:15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 11 Marland Yarde 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Jon Fisher 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Bryn Evans (c), 4 George Skivington, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Alex Gray, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates.

Venue: Twickenham
Referee: Wayne Barnes

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