Hill's injury adds to Saracens sorrows

London Irish 20 Saracens 3
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The Independent Online

As if defeat was not bad enough for struggling Saracens, they also lost their England flanker Richard Hill, who had to be carried off at the end of the first half.

As if defeat was not bad enough for struggling Saracens, they also lost their England flanker Richard Hill, who had to be carried off at the end of the first half.

Hill appeared to twist his left knee, although the Saracens coach, Rod Kafer, clearly angry at the result and at the way some of the refereeing decisions seemed to go against his side, claimed that he had no idea about the extent of the damage, nor which limb had been injured.

"We will know more tomorrow," said Kafer, "but yes, I am very worried about Richard Hill's injury." Hill twisted awkwardly when England colleague Mike Catt sidestepped around him and sparked the move that led to London Irish's first try.

Victory was all the sweeter for The Exiles, who leap-frogged Saracens in the table.

At times the handling and the execution would have looked more at home on the stage of the Whitehall Theatre. Thankfully, London Irish had Catt, who is still able to punch through defences. It was he who supplied Justin Bishop to score the Exiles' opening try late in the first half.

The Exiles' second owed much to an apparent knock-on by Keiran Roche, but the No 8 was able to slip the ball to scrum-half Darren Edwards who fed Delon Armitage to touch down.

The knock-on is possibly what prompted Kafer to add: "There were a number of factors that had a significant impact on the game. We will certainly speak to the referee during the week and to the touch judges as well as the assessors."

Irish's third try also owed much to a knock-on, this time by the Saracens full-back, Robbie Kydd, who failed to hang on to a Nicky Little chip into midfield and, with referee David Rose playing advantage, Michael Horak pounced.

London Irish: Tries Bishop, Armitage, Horak; Conversion Armitage; Penalty Everitt. Saracens: Penalty Little.

London Irish: M Horak; J Bishop G Appleford, M Catt (D Armitage, 65), S Staniforth; B Everitt (N Mordt, 60), P Hodgson (D Edwards, 62); N Hatley, R Russell, R Hardwick (P Durant, 78), N Kennedy (R Strudwick, 60), R Casey, D Danaher, P Murphy (K Roche, 68), K Dawson (capt).

Saracens: R Kydd; R Haughton (B Johnston, 58), T Castaignede, K Sorrell, P Bailey; B Russell (N Little, h-t), K Bracken (M Rauluni, 62); K Yates (N Lloyd, 68), R Ibanez (M Cairns, 50), B Broster, K Chesney (S Raiwalui, 50), H Vyvyan (capt), R Hill (B Skirving, 39), T Randell, D Seymour.

Referee: D Rose (Birmingham).

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