Landmark for Hodgson in Sarries romp

Salisbury Journal: Charlie Hodgson booted 20 points as Saracens hammered London Irish Charlie Hodgson booted 20 points as Saracens hammered London Irish

Charlie Hodgson became the first player to pass 2,000 points in the Premiership as Saracens comfortably overcame London Irish 40-3 in the second London Double Header match at Twickenham.

The former England fly-half, who went into the match on 1,992 points, achieved the milestone with his third penalty in the 27th minute.

England winger Chris Ashton marked his Saracens debut with two second-half tries - after being sin-binned in the first half - with England centre Brad Barritt and replacement Nils Mordt also touching down.

Hodgson finished with 20 points, adding four conversions to his three early penalties, with full-back Alex Goode also landing a penalty.

The only Irish reply was a penalty from full-back Tom Homer, last season's Premiership leading scorer with 278 points.

Harlequins showed the resolve of champions as they staged a sensational fightback to open the defence of their title with a scarcely believable 42-40 victory over Wasps.

Conor O'Shea's men seemed dead and buried as the rejuvenated Wasps, who had only avoided relegation on the final day of last season, stormed into a 40-13 lead after 56 minutes. Christian Wade did the early damage, scoring two blistering tries and providing another for Tom Varndell before forwards Marco Wentzel and Tim Payne touched down.

But man of the match Nick Evans, on his 100th Premiership appearance, scored 22 points to lead Harlequins on one of the great Premiership comebacks. Tom Guest came off the bench to launch the comeback, Evans set up two tries for Mike Brown and then touched down himself before wrapping up the victory with a penalty four minutes from time.

Olly Barkley kicked all of Bath's points including a last-minute penalty to snatch a dramatic 24-23 over Worcester at Sixways.

Northampton held on with just 13 men to beat Gloucester 24-19 with a thrilling finale while Exeter Chiefs' convincing 43-6 victory over Sale Sharks at Sandy Park was their biggest ever league win.

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