Home team Away Team

London Irish

  • Armitage (2),
    Penalty goals: Homer (3),
19 - 28

Saracens

  • Fraser,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (5),
    Drop goals: Hodgson (2),
    Conversions: Hodgson,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 14th Apr 2012
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Madejski Stadium
  • Att: 19,546

Armitage heroics in vain

Hodgson boots Saracens to hard-fought victory

Last updated: 14th April 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Charlie Hodgson Saracens London Irish

Charlie Hodgson: Kicked 23 points as Saracens ground out victory

Delon Armitage London Irish

Delon Armitage: Scored two tries on his return to the Irish starting line-up

Related links

Teams

Also see

Delon Armitage scored two tries on his return to the London Irish starting line-up, but could not prevent the Exiles sliding to a 28-19 defeat against Saracens at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The reverse represented a seventh straight Aviva Premiership loss for London Irish who remain in ninth spot in the standings.

Armitage, who had been on the bench for the previous two matches, struck in each half for the hosts, whose other nine points came from three Tom Homer penalties.

Saracens won the match on the back of an immaculate kicking display from England fly-half Charlie Hodgson who landed five penalties from five attempts, struck two drop goals and converted Sarries' only try, scored by flanker Will Fraser.

However, the victory was not enough to stop the reigning Premiership champions dropping from second to third as Leicester moved above them with their bonus-point win at Northampton earlier in the day.

Homer kicked Irish into the lead in the seventh minute with his opening penalty, although Saracens drew level three minutes later - Hodgson slotting his first drop-goal following a powerful rolling maul off the back of a lineout.

Homer restored the home side's lead with a 15th-minute penalty after Saracens strayed offside and he then made it 9-3 with his third after 19 minutes when prop Matt Stevens - who was enduring a tough afternoon against England squad-mate Alex Corbisiero - was penalised at a scrum.

Opening try

Hodgson reduced the deficit to three points with a penalty before out-of-favour England full-back Armitage, recalled to the Irish side as a winger, scored the opening try.

Centre Jonathan Joseph timed the final pass to perfection to send Armitage bursting through Sarries full-back Alex Goode's attempted tackle.

But Hodgson kept the visitors in touch with two well-struck penalties in the final four minutes of the opening half to ensure Irish went in only 14-12 to the good at the break.

He struck from 45 metres when Irish were caught offside in the 36th minute and two minutes later the fly-half eclipsed that after Irish were penalised at the breakdown.

Having already warned the hosts over infringements at the breakdown, referee Martin Fox finally lost patience with the hosts' indiscipline when he dispatched flanker Jamie Gibson to the sin-bin in the 52nd minute.

Hodgson kicked the resulting penalty to put Saracens ahead for the first time and Saracens then capitalised on their one-man advantage, winning a line-out and producing a 20-metre rolling maul which ended with Fraser touching down - Hodgson converted to put them 22-14 ahead.

But Irish, restored to 15 players, hit back with Armitage's second try. Taking a pass from lock Bryn Evans, he stepped inside Sarries' centre Chris Wyles before beating two more defenders on the way to the line.

Hodgson eased any Saracens nerves with his fourth penalty in the 81st minute but two minutes later the visitors were reduced to 14 men when Fraser was yellow-carded for tackling Homer in the air as the young full-back collected a high-kick.

Irish conceded two penalties as they tried to press home their advantage but Hodgson denied them even the consolation of a losing bonus-point with his second drop-goal in the final minute.

Rugby Union Specials. Click here to bet.
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 26th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale Sharks vs Leicester Tigers
15:00Newcastle Falcons vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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