Round-up: McCall hails Hodgson's 'clinical' role in victory


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The Independent Online

Saracens coach Mark McCall praised the experience of former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson after he kicked 17 points in their 22-0 win at Bath.

"Charlie was just outstanding," McCall said. "He knew when to pass, when to kick, when to put the ball in front of the forwards and it was a masterclass really. It was just a very clinical and professional performance."

Looking forward, McCall is confident his side can push on in the new year, "I think it's kind of irrelevant who's top of the table at the halfway point.

"We've played seven away games so we've got four proper away games to go and hopefully we'll have six games at our new home."

Richard Wigglesworth scored the only try of the game on Saturday in a move started by Hodgson.

Next summer's Lions tour may come too late for the 32-year-old fly-half but a young No10 who will have one eye on the tour is Gloucester's Freddie Burns.

The 22-year-old England man put in a faultless display of kicking for his Gloucester side as they ran out 18-16 winners over Exeter.

Gloucester assistant coach Carl Hogg highlighted Burns's importance, "Freddie from the start of the season has mixed his game up and has a real balance to the game. He understands where the momentum of the game is and I thought he kicked the corners very well."

Exeter scored the only try of the encounter as Simon Alcott picked from a ruck and crashed over to give the Chiefs a 16-12 lead.

But Burns was on the mark to close the gap to one point, and when Exeter were penalised at the break- down again, the young fly-half took the chance to claim victory.

Niall Morris scored twice for Leicester Tigers as they moved up to third place with a 31-9 bonus-point win over London Irish.

Wales lock Luke Charteris will not be available for the Six Nations or the Lions Tour after rupturing his medial knee ligaments while playing for Perpignan.