Saracens 44 London Irish 13: Owen Farrell masterclass takes Sarries top with win over Exiles
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Aviva Premiership: Saracens 44 London Irish 13
Owen Farrell scored 19 points as Saracens moved back to the top of the Aviva Premiership with a bonus point 44-13 win over London Irish at Allianz Park.
Mako Vunipola forced his way over in an opening half which saw Farrell miss three attempts at goal but still manage a conversion and two penalties.
The England fly-half converted his own try after the break though as Liam Williams and Chris Wyles ensured the bonus point before two late Nathan Earle scores.
David Paice managed a consolation score for Irish but Saracens remain unbeaten at home in the league since March 2016.
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Fly-half Tommy Bell knocked over an early penalty but a powerful run by Vunipola soon had the home side ahead following some poor Irish tackling.
Farrell added the conversion but then missed his next two penalties as Saracens struggled to make their possession pay - and in a rare venture into the Saracens half, London Irish earned a second penalty and Bell reduced the deficit to a single point on the half hour.
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Saracens fly-half Farrell sent his third penalty of the afternoon wide of the uprights before eventually adding to the home side’s points tally on 32 minutes.
London Irish then saw second row Paul Teofilo sent to the sin bin for an off-the-ball tackle.
The hosts kicked for the corner and earned a penalty in front of the posts which Farrell slotted to give Saracens a 13-6 advantage at the break.
And after a disappointing first 40 by his own high standards, it was Farrell who popped up to take an offload from winger Williams to give Saracens’ their first try of the second half.
Irish skipper Paice pulled a try back from a powerful driving maul on 50 minutes, with Bell’s conversion reducing the deficit to seven points.
However, the two-time European champions were soon back on the front foot as Williams took advantage of space out on the right wing to cross the tryline.
Farrell added the extras and a moment of magic from Andy Goode, who collected his own chip over the Irish defence, set up Wyles for the bonus point score.
Wyles turned provider as he cut an excellent line through the Irish defence with 65 minutes gone, allowing Nathan Earle to dot down unopposed.
And the replacement demonstrated his speed again as he burst through for his second try in the final moments.