Home team Away Team


  • Mordt, Ashton (2), Barritt,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (3), Goode,
    Conversions: Hodgson (4),
40 - 3

London Irish

  • Penalty goals: Homer,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 1st Sep 2012
  • KO 16:30
  • Ground: Twickenham
  • Att: 63,102

Thumbs up for new-boy

Last updated: 1st September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Thumbs up for new-boy

Chris Ashton: attitude has impressed his new club

Related links


Also see

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised Chris Ashton's attitude after the England winger's two-try debut.

Ashton bounced back from a first-half sin-binning to strike twice in the second and help Sarries open their account with a bonus-point win over London Irish.

"He brings something different, he's never far away from where the action is, particularly when we've got the ball," said McCall.

"He pops up in unusual positions, which is exactly what we wanted. We are hoping he will take our attacking game forward.

"He played really well today and a lot of the others did too."

Ashton made his feelings clearly known after referee Wayne Barnes brandished a yellow card for his late challenge on fly-half Steve Shingler.

But McCall admitted: "It wasn't his finest hour. He didn't use his arms in the tackle. It was an indisciplined thing to have done and I've no complaints about the decision."

The Saracens boss revealed that Ashton had shown his enthusiasm by reporting for pre-season training a week early to integrate himself with his new club.

He said: "He's got his own reputation but we've found him very good so far. I think some of the reputation he has is unfair.

"He just wants a new start and he's chucked himself into the club. He came a week early to get to know the people he didn't know already and the players appreciated that."

McCall, delighted with his side's opening performance, added: "In the first half we played a little bit within ourselves. We had some opportunities which we kicked away.

"We needed to up the tempo in the second half and I thought we did that very well."


Brian Smith, the London Irish director of rugby, lamented: "It was a tough afternoon, particularly disappointing for us.

"We came into the season off a very solid win down in Cork so we came into this in a good space. Our preparation was very good.

"We probably needed to pick up all the points on offer in the first half and stay in touch. We didn't do that so when we conceded the first try it was a big margin. That hurt us a little bit and put us under a lot of pressure.

"We're disappointed but we accept and understand that's the price you pay when you're trying to build things and get better.

"We have a week to put things right before our first league game. We're a very young group and we're just getting used to each other."

He added: "It's been a kick in the pants today. I think we're a better side than the scoreboard showed. As a collective group we'll front up (against Gloucester) at the Madejski Stadium next week."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
Aviva Premiership
Friday 13th February
Aviva Premiership
19:45Leicester vs Gloucester
19:45Northampton vs London Irish
Saturday 14th February
16:30Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
13:00Saracens vs Bath
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
Friday 20th February
19:45Newcastle vs Wasps
Saturday 21st February
14:00Sale vs Saracens
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs London Welsh
15:15Bath vs Northampton
Sunday 22nd February
14:00London Irish vs Leicester
Friday 27th February
19:45Leicester vs Sale
19:45Northampton vs Harlequins
Saturday 28th February
14:30London Welsh vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Newcastle
15:15Exeter vs Bath
Sunday 1st March
14:00Wasps vs Gloucester
Friday 6th March
19:45Bath vs Sale
Saturday 7th March
15:00Exeter vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs London Irish
15:15Gloucester vs Northampton
Sunday 8th March
14:00Wasps vs Saracens
15:00Newcastle vs Leicester
Friday 27th March
19:45Northampton vs Wasps

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com