Planet Rugby

Home comforts for Saracens

20th January 2013 14:33

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Steve Borthwick saracens v edinburgh

Mission accomplished: Saracens

Saracens booked themselves a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup after sweeping past Edinburgh 40-7 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Three Owen Farrell penalties and Chris Ashton's first try took them into a 14-7 lead at the interval, with Greig Tonks responding for the Scottish outfit.

Further touchdowns from Ashton, Matt Stevens, Charlie Hodgson and Chris Wyles sealed the five points, although they will have to wait for the Leicester-Toulouse result to see their position in the rankings.

Despite having this opportunity to secure a home game in the last eight, their place in the knockout stages wasn't secured as they only had a three-point advantage over Munster. And in snowy conditions at Vicarage Road - their last ever game at this stadium - Sarries made a cautious start.

They still managed to physically dominate Edinburgh in the early stages and in Farrell, Mark McCall's men have a dead-eye marksman. The fly-half opened the scoring after nine minutes before adding another from the tee soon after as the hosts took a 6-0 advantage.

That soon became nine through the England international before Richard Wigglesworth's intelligent grubber through allowed Ashton to touch down.

But Tonks put the game in the balance at the break when he chased his own kick through and re-gathered the ball over the line.

However, Saracens soon reasserted their authority in the second period when Farrell's cross-kick from a penalty was brilliantly collected and finished by Ashton.

Try number three was soon forthcoming when a rolling maul ended in Stevens crossing the whitewash for a 26-7 lead.

And Hodgson was the hero when his superb dummy capped an all-round excellent individual performance for the former England international. Wyles then added gloss to the score-line with a last minute try to take them through.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Ashton 2, Stevens, Hodgson, Wyles
Cons: Farrell 3
Pens: Farrell 3

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Tonks
Cons: Laidlaw

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Joel Tomkins, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Dimitri Basilaia, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 David Denton, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Ben Atiga, 23 Lee Jones.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)

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