Saracens 40-7 Edinburgh

Saracens (14) 40

  • Tries: Ashton 2, Stevens, Hodgson, Wyles
  • Cons: Farrell 3
  • Pens: Farrell 3

Edinburgh (7)

  • Tries: Tonks
  • Cons: Laidlaw

Chris Ashton scored twice as Saracens beat Edinburgh with a bonus point to secure a home quarter-final against Ulster in the Heineken Cup.

Three Owen Farrell penalties and Ashton's first made it 14-7, Greig Tonks replying for Edinburgh.

Ashton scored his second after the break before Matt Stevens went over.

A late try for Charlie Hodgson secured the bonus and Chris Wyles added gloss as Sarries bade farewell to Vicarage Road with a comprehensive victory.

The bonus point gave the Pool One winners 23 points and lifted them above Irish province Ulster into the top four qualifiers, ensuring they will host last season's beaten finalists in the last eight.

Who plays who in last eight?

Harlequins v Munster

Clermont v Montpellier

Toulon v Leicester

Saracens v Ulster

In the other game in the pool Munster beat Racing Metro with a bonus point to secure second, knock defending champions and bitter rivals Leinster out of the competition and clinch a trip to top seeds Harlequins in the quarter-finals.

Saracens will be delighted to have ended their long tenancy at the home of Watford football club with a big win in snowy conditions on the outskirts of London.

Their powerful pack soon established control over the visiting eight and Edinburgh indiscipline, combined with the hosts' dominance in the scrum and at the breakdown, gave them the chance to build an early lead.

The clinical Farrell made it 27 successful kicks in a row with three penalties in the first quarter.

And Sarries extended their lead as Richard Wigglesworth threaded a precise grubber kick through the on-rushing Edinburgh defence to leave Ashton in splendid isolation as he touched down for the first try of the afternoon.

England fly-half Farrell hit the post with the conversion from wide out to end his remarkable run of consecutive successes from the kicking tee and Edinburgh hit back almost immediately as Wigglesworth's form went from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Saracens boss delighted to progress

When Tonks chipped ahead Wigglesworth made a total hash of dealing with the bouncing ball and Tonks kicked ahead again before gleefully body-sledging over in the snow for only Edinburgh's third try of the tournament.

Greig Laidlaw landed the conversion to make it 14-7 at the break but Sarries pulled clear with four second-half tries.

Farrell, perhaps struggling with the conditions, missed a couple more shots at goal but he played a major part in the second of Ashton's brace.

The fly-half looked set to go for goal but instead kicked with pin-point accuracy to the corner and the flying Ashton showed he is the ultimate poacher as he took the kick at full pelt on the bounce and dived over.

Saracens extended their lead when the home pack worked up a head of steam and sent former England prop Stevens barrelling over from an attacking line-out, with Farrell converting the latter score.

Entering the closing stages, it looked as though a fourth try was beyond them but Hodgson dummied over to secure the bonus point with five minutes to go and with the last play of the game Wyles latched onto yet another kick to score their fifth try and ensure Sarries leave unlamented Vicarage Road on a high.

View from the dressing rooms

Saracens boss Mark McCall:

"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.

"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."

Edinburgh boss Michael Bradley:

"For their second try, the tee was on the pitch and if the tee's on the pitch they have to kick at goal.

"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."

Team line-ups

Saracens: Wyles; Ashton, Farrell, Barritt, Strettle; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; Vunipola, Brits, Stevens, Borthwick, Kruis, Brown, Fraser, Joubert.

Replacements: Taylor for Ashton (60), J Tomkins for Barritt (72), De Kock for Wigglesworth (51), Gill for Vunipola (56), Smit for Brits (56), Du Plessis for Stevens (65), Fenton-Wells for Fraser (72), Botha for Joubert (60).

Edinburgh: Tonks; Fife, Cairns, Scott, T Visser; Laidlaw, Rees; Hislop, Lawrie, Nel, Gilchrist, Cox, McInally, Basilaia, Talei.

Replacements: Atiga for Scott (76), Jones for T Visser (71), Francis for Laidlaw (76), Allen for Hislop (51), Titterrell for Lawrie (51), Cross for Nel (70), Parker for Cox (51).

Not Used: McAlpine.

Att: 5,673