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Sarries banish Exiles
Hodgson makes history with 20-point haul
Charlie Hodgson became the first Premiership player to pass 2,000 points as Saracens recorded a comfortable 40-3 victory over London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday.
The former England fly-half, who went into the match on 1,992 points, achieved the milestone in the 27th minute with his third penalty, while Chris Ashton marked his Sarries debut with two second-half tries.
Centre Brad Barritt and replacement Nils Mordt also touched down for Saracens and Hodgson added four conversions to his three early penalties, while full-back Alex Goode also landed a three-pointer.
The only Irish reply came in the shape of a penalty from full-back Tom Homer, last season's leading scorer in the Premiership.
Saracens skipper Steve Borthwick had his try ruled out on four minutes for a forward pass, under new regulations which allow the referee to refer the build-up to the television match official.
On 16 minutes Hodgson had to survive a bone-shaking late challenge from Ofisa Treviranus which earned the Samoan flanker a 15th-minute yellow card and, while he recovered, Goode landed the penalty.
Saracens were also reduced to 14 men when Ashton was sin-binned by referee Wayne Barnes for a late barge on Irish fly-half Steve Shingler.
With the resulting kick Homer, who had already missed three long-range penalties, finally succeeded at the fourth attempt from just inside the Saracens' half.
Hodgson landed his second, in off the post, in the 25th minute and two minutes later slotted another to take his Premiership tally to 2,001 and give his side a 12-3 lead, which they carried into the break.
Ashton made amends for his earlier misdemeanour by scoring the first try of the match with just two second half minutes gone.
A quality build-up involving Schalk Brits, former Wigan Warriors rugby league star Joel Tomkins and USA international winger Chris Wyles realeased the England winger to cross for a typically predatory try.
Hodgson converted to stretch the lead to 19-3 and eight minutes later he was on target again after Barritt crossed for their second.
Midway through the second half, Saracens flanker Kelly Brown became the third player to be sin-binned, for killing the ball at the breakdown, but Irish were unable to capitalise.
And, back to full strength, Sarries had the final say with Ashton crossing for for his second in the 73rd minute and Mordt securing the bonus point. Two minutes later. Hodgson converted both to take his tally to 20 points.
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|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com