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Ashton impresses in Edinburgh rout

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall claimed Chris Ashton was back to doing what he does best after the England wing scored two tries to send his side into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

A 40-7 victory over Edinburgh in their last game at a snowy Vicarage Road confirmed Saracens' place in the last eight for the second season running. The hosts bagged five tries against Edinburgh, who bow out of the competition after six defeats, with the other scores coming from Matt Stevens, Charlie Hodgson and Chris Wyles.

McCall said: "It was great to see Ashy score a couple of tries and getting back to what he really does best. The second try was fantastic and I wish I could claim credit for thinking that up; Ashy and Owen (Farrell) just saw each other and they pulled it off."

He added: "We can appreciate just how difficult it was out there and we said after the game that the conditions were as bad as it gets with the ball like a bar of soap.

"The key was being patient and to keep our composure, but also to control the game enough through position and with that the opportunities would come and then we would put them away.

"I get questioned about why I start Charlie (Hodgson) with Owen playing well last week but they combined really well."

After three Farrell penalties, Saracens scored their first try when Ashton touched down Richard Wigglesworth's kick ahead before Greig Tonks hit back for Edinburgh's solitary score.

The hosts effectively sealed the result when Farrell quickly kicked a penalty to the right wing where Ashton was waiting, before Stevens, Hodgson and Wyles added extra gloss.

Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley said: "For their second try, the tee was on the pitch and if the tee's on the pitch they have to kick at goal. The only reasons the guy next to Farrell can be on the pitch are if there's an injury or he's bringing the tee out and I suspect that that shouldn't have been a try.

"It would have made our lives a bit easier as well because momentum is a big thing in rugby matches. In fairness, it would have been hard to deny Saracens either way because they were by far the better side and they deserved to get the bonus point."


From Belfast Telegraph