Aviva Premiership: Tom Homer kicks 19 points to help London Irish to victory
Last Updated: 09/02/13 6:40pm
London Irish upset the odds against Saracens, defeating their capital rivals 29-16 at the Madejski Stadium.
Having seen fellow strugglers Sale manage a rare win on Friday night, the Exiles responded with an impressive result against a side who had started the day in second place in the Aviva Premiership table.
It was 9-9 at the break but a crucial interception try from late call-up Shane Geraghty put the hosts on the road to a much-needed victory.
Saracens had gone ahead after only two minutes when Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty from inside his own half, but that was soon nullified by three points from the boot of Tom Homer.
The pair exchanged further penalties before Irish had the first real chance to get a try, George Skivington creating the opportunity with a kick and chase only for team-mate Pat Phibbs to knock on with the line at his mercy.
Homer was unable to take advantage with a penalty from the resulting scrum but made no mistake with his next shot at the posts in the 34th minute.
Although Sarries levelled through Hodgson, Irish started the second half strongly and regained the lead thanks to a fourth successful kick from Homer.
They then put some daylight between the sides when Geraghty, playing in place of the injured Jonathan Joseph, picked off an obvious pass from Nils Mordt and went 45 metres to the line.
Homer converted and also added a further penalty to leave Saracens in a real hole with time running out. They gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Dave Strettle saw a gap to score an individual try that Hodgson converted.
Scenting victory, Saracens played with more width but another error gave their opponents the chance to seal the game.
Topsy Ojo was on hand to kick ahead a loose ball and replacement Ofisa Treviranus won the race for a crucial try which Homer converted, meaning the full-back finished with a personal haul of 19 points.
Sat 16th May
Bath50 - 30Gloucester
Exeter44 - 16Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers22 - 14Northampton
London Irish40 - 40Wasps
London Welsh17 - 68Saracens
Newcastle Falcons37 - 21Harlequins
Sat 23rd May - Semi Final
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Bath0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 14
Harlequins' 10-match winning streak came to an end as London Wasps held on for a 17-16 victory at the Twickenham Stoop.
Bath claimed a 32-9 bonus-point victory over Worcester in the battle between eighth and ninth in the Aviva Premiership.
Gloucester moved above Northampton in the play-off race with a 27-11 victory in their clash at Franklin's Gardens.