London Irish upset Saracens in Reading

Aviva Premiership strugglers London Irish found form in the second half and beat Saracens 29-16 at the Madejski Stadium.

The game was finely poised at the break with Homer and Sarries’ Charlie Hodgson
trading three penalties each.

But the Exiles put in an outstanding second half display and tries from Shane
Geraghty and Ofisa Treviranus, aided by the accurate kicking of their full-back,
sealed a potentially season-defining win.

David Strettle briefly gave the visitors hope, but it wasn’t to be for the top-four
contenders.

Irish have found it difficult throughout this season and went into the encounter
just one point off bottom placed Sale.

However, they were facing a Saracens team that were depleted through
international call-ups, and it showed.

It proved to be a tight opening period with both teams struggling to find an
attacking rhythm.

Hodgson did open the account with a penalty before Homer responded almost
immediately with one of his own.

The respective kickers then traded further three-pointers as the match remained
finely poised at 6-6 after 14 minutes.

As the half neared its conclusion the hosts’ full-back took them into the lead
for the first time, but Hodgson was once again on target to level matters at
the interval.

It was the Exiles that dominated the early passages of the second half. Homer’s
boot was once again to the fore as they moved 12-9 ahead before Geraghty touched
down for a converted score.

Irish’s kicker then added his fifth from the tee, but Strettle touched down
for Sarries to reduce the deficit to 22-16.

However, the home side weren’t to be denied and Treviranus crossed the whitewash
to secure a crucial win in their battle to avoid the drop.

Final Score London Irish (9) 29 Saracens (9) 16


Scorers


London Irish
Tries: Geraghty, Treviranus
Cons: Homer 2
Pens: Homer 5


Saracens
Try: Strettle
Con: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson 3


Match Officials
Referee:
Andrew Small (83rd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart, Ashley Rowden.


Teams


London Irish


15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Guy Armitage; 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Pat Phibbs; 1. Max Lahiff; 2. Scott Lawson; 3. Halani Aulika; 4. George Skivington; 5. Bryn Evans (Captain); 6. Matt Garvey; 7. Jebb Sinclair; 8. Chris Hala’ufia


Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18.Leo Halavatau; 19.Jamie Gibson; 20. Ofisa Treviranus; 21. Steven Shingler; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Jack Moat


Saracens


15 Chris Wyles , 14 Joe Maddock , 13 Joel Tomkins , 12 Duncan Taylor , 11 David Strettle , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert , 7 Will Fraser , 6 George Kruis , 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c) , 3 Matt Stevens , 2 John Smit , 1 Nick Auterac


Replacements : 16 Schalk Brits , 17 Rhys Gill , 18 Petrus du Plessis , 19 Mouritz Botha , 20 Jackson Wray , 21 Richard Wigglesworth , 22 Nils Mordt , 23 James Short

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