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Hodgson haunts Sale again
Fly-half boots 18 points to send old club to defeat
Charlie Hodgson again proved to be the nemesis of his old club as Sale were beaten 23-16 by Saracens in the first Premiership game at their new Salford City Stadium on Saturday.
Last season Hodgson, who joined Saracens just over a year ago, booted his new side to victory with 20 points at the Sharks' old home Edgeley Park.
This time the veteran fly-half, who retired from international rugby over the summer, landed 18 points to condemn his former side to defeat.
Hodgson's opposite number Danny Cipriani, making his home debut kicked all the first-half points from penalties as the visitors led 12-9 at the break.
Wing Will Addison's breakaway try at the start of the second period briefly put the Sharks ahead.
But a third try in two games for summer signing Chris Ashton together with Hodgson's boot earned victory for Sarries.
Cipriani booted his first competitive points for Sale with an early penalty on the left but Saracens responded with a period of pressure and Hodgson levelled with a straightforward three-pointer.
A Saracens speciality high kick and chase earned another penalty, which Hodgson turned into three more points from a central position.
Hodgson booted another penalty before Cipriani pulled three back after Barritt was penalised via the television match official for taking opposite number Sam Tuitupou out off the ball.
The home fly-half made it 12-9 on the stroke of half-time with a scuffed penalty from the right after Sarries were given a taste of their own medicine from an up and under.
Saracens attacked early in the second half but a stray pass fell to Addison, who out-paced Hodgson down the right and scored under the posts.
Cipriani converted to put Sale ahead by four but Hodgson reduced the gap to one with a kick from central position after Ashton was taken out off the ball.
The visitors regained the lead via a flowing move from left to right with Goode finding Ashton, who went over in the corner .
They try was confirmed by the TMO but Hodgson's attempted conversion bounced back off the far upright.
But a straightforward penalty from the fly-half put Saracens a converted try in front and the hosts had to settle for a losing bonus point.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 20th September|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 11th October|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 18th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 1st November|
|15:00||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 8th November|
|15:00||Ospreys vs Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Saturday 6th December|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com