Premiership round-up: Classic Homer performance puts Exiles in the box seat

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The Independent Online

Tom Homer put in a man-of-the- match performace to lead London Irish into the top four of the Aviva Premiership with a 42-24 bonus-point victory over Worcester. The full-back kicked 17 points in total and was one of five Exiles try-scorers.

The win was all the more impressive in that Irish were temporarily reduced to 14 men in the first half after Darren Allinson's illegal block.

Saracens enjoyed a comfortable 25-5 win over bottom-placed Newcastle at Vicarage Road with tries from Joe Maddock, Alex Goode and finally – after an electrifying 80-metre dash to the line – James Short. Saracens did not concede a single score after the interval but staunch Newcastle defence at the death denied the London club a bonus point for a fourth try.

Richard Cockerill blamed his Leicester team's poor form on World Cup call-ups after Saturday's 18-27 loss to Harlequins. "It's been a farce, with 20 guys missing," complained the coach. "Whilst I'm sorry England lost, the result in New Zealand is a delight for the club. We need the players."

Harlequins' win – their first at Welford Road in the league since 1997 – extended their 100 per cent start to the season.