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Summary

  1. First Premiership game to be held overseas
  2. Saracens win 26-16 to reclaim top spot in the Premiership
  3. Results: Wasps 36-24 Leicester, Northampton 26-11 Sale
  4. Results: Worcester 28-20 Gloucester, Exeter 32-17 Newcastle

Live Reporting

By Andrew Aloia

All times stated are UK

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Catch you on the flipside

FT: London Irish 16-26 Saracens

There we have it, Saracens do enough to return to the top of the English Premiership by winning a game almost 3,500 miles away in New Jersey.

Alex Goode scored 19 of Sarries' points and was well worth having on the trip to the United States after being released from England duties.

London Irish, so good for so long in their home game away from home, have nothing to show for their efforts as they remain bottom of the table and eight points from safety.

How has the rugby experiment in the United States done? Well time will only tell.

For now, it's over and out from us for another week of top-flight rugby action.

Post-match reaction

London Irish 16-26 Saracens

Man of the match Alex Goode told BT Sport: "We always knew it was going to b a tough game. Credit to Irish, in that first half they came at us and we weren't at our best.

"But in the second half I thought we played really well and showed a lot of grit to come back and win the game."

Full-time

London Irish 16-26 Saracens

With the kick, it's all over as the ball goes out of play. Saracens return to the Premiership summit.

Alex Goode with 19 of Saracens' 26 points. The England man was very much the difference.

London Irish 16-26 Saracens

There is time for a restart.

Try (Tompkins, con Goode)

London Irish 16-26 Saracens

The charge down is clean, Nick Tompkins' try stands.

Opportunistic try from Saracens and that takes the losing bonus-point away from London Irish.

Try review (Tompkins)

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

Nick Tompkins collects the ball after a London Irish kick is blocked.

Television match official just wants a look.

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

London Irish pinned in their half.

Saracens pile pressure on, London willing to run the ball out of defence but can't make significant territory.

Tense finish in New Jersey.

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

Play re-starts. London Irish line-out deep in their half.

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

Alex Goode seems to fake a drop-goal attempt. At the very least caught in two minds.

The ball goes left and Ben Ransom tries a grubber kick and chase. The game is really up for grabs in these dying minutes.

There is a pause in play as the TMO has a look at an earlier hit on a Sarries player... tick, tock we wait.

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

Oh. My. Word.

Alex Lewington, the human highlight reel today, soars in the air trying to claim a Greig Tonks kick at pace.

The winger gets a hand to it, but spills. Wow. Seriously, take a bow for the effort at the very least.

There is a penalty that comes back and Tonks lines it up but misses for the first time and the Exiles continue to play catch up.

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

Less than 10 minutes remaining of this historic Premiership match in New Jersey.

That is 10 minutes for London Irish to salvage something and do their survival homes some good.

And that is 10 minutes for Saracens to hold to reclaim top spot.

Penalty (Goode)

London Irish 16-19 Saracens

A half chance looked on for Saracens.

Chris Wyles, starting the move in his half, gets the ball out to Ben Ransom. But the space that presented itself ahead of him quickly turned into a wall of green shamrock shirts.

And yet the points are still on offer. From just inside Irish's defensive half, Alex Goode kicks a fourth penalty to put Sarries ahead with just over 10 minutes to play

That's against the run of play. I thought London Irish were looking more assertive but it's Saracens who have come away with the three points.

Andrew FenbyLondon Irish full-back on BBC Radio Berkshire

London Irish 16-16 Saracens

London Irish's Greig Tonks with a delicious pass out to Topsy Ojo.

The ball is quick through hands, Johnny Williams onto Tom Cruse and a great chance presents itself as London Irish rush to within 10 metres of the line.

For all the danger, a penalty is awarded to Saracens as Luke Narraway fails to feed the ball at the breakdown. Huge chance goes begging, it seems.

Penalty (Tonks)

London Irish 16-16 Saracens

Greig Tonks is four from four and levels for London Irish. 

Saracens probably got off there a bit light as space was opening on the right before conceding a penalty.

London Irish 13-16 Saracens

London Irish full-back Sean Maitland earns the biggest roar of the day so far as he cuts in from the left and scrambles towards the line.

Great cover defence stands between him and a certain Exiles score.

Penalty (Goode)

London Irish 13-16 Saracens

My word, how Saracens fire the ball along the line and put London Irish under pressure is staggering.

Sure, poor discipline by Irish has allowed Sarries back into this game. But the swiftness of Sarries' movement makes it hard for the Exiles to contain the Premiership high flyers.

Alex Goode is on hand to land a third penalty and put Saracens ahead for the first time.

London Irish haven't matched the intensity they showed in the first half and the momentum is with Saracens.

Andrew FenbyLondon Irish full-back on BBC Radio Berkshire

London Irish 13-13 Saracens

London Irish doing all they can to keep the ball alive. However, for all their ingenuity they barely make a 10-metre gain into Saracens' half.

Topsy Ojo is busting to break through, neat hands from prop Halani Aulika.

Penalty given away and play goes all the way into the Exiles' half.

Penalty (Goode)

London Irish 13-13 Saracens

London Irish really needing to defuse of lot of danger.

Scott Steele gets down to scoop up the ball with Saracens closing in on the right wing, but play is brought back for a penalty. 

Alex Goode aims, fires and levels this game up at 13-13 on 49 minutes.

Penalty (Goode)

London Irish 13-10 Saracens

Saracens full-back Alex Goode takes over kicking duties from Ben Spencer. With his first sight at goal he reduces the arrears to three points.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

So far, so good. London Irish hold as Saracens build momentum.

United States international Titi Lamositele found some room and threatened for Saracens. But Irish hold.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

A theme for London Irish this season is their failure to keep up, or capitalise on strong first-half showings.

That first 40 minutes were among the Exiles best this term.

So far, Irish has pushed Sarries into their half, but they now have a line-out in their own half and near to be controlled in trying to clear danger.

Kick-off

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

Saracen's Alex Goode gets action back underway Stateside.

Can Irish hold on?

HT: London Irish 13-7 Saracens

London Irish have been close against Exeter and Bath. If they can get that win today it will end a great week in New York. They have got some good fixtures coming up and a win would give them some momentum going into those.

Andrew FenbyLondon Irish full-back on BBC Radio Berkshire

Get Involved on #bbcrugby

London Irish fan
AP

So what do you make of that first half then? It's been surprising how much better London Irish have been with ball in hand.

Can they hold on and upset the long-time Premiership leaders and give their own survival hopes a shot in the arm? Or will Saracens grind out another win?

Let us know using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

Six Nations action

Back on home soil earlier today, five Saracens players helped England overcome Wales in the Six Nations to move to within one victory of their first Grand Slam in 13 years.

Sarries' Owen Farrell kicked 20 of England 25 points.

Elsewhere, Ireland ran in a record nine tries as they thrashed Italy in Dublin.

Owen Farrell
Getty Images

If you missed it

The Premiership world does not revolve around New York today, far from it.

If you missed it, well then you have some catching up to do as Exeter went top of the table with victory over Newcastle earlier today and Wasps overcame Leicester Tigers to go third.

Northampton got the better of Sale 26-11 and Worcester Warriors did their survival hope a major boost with a 28-20 home win over Gloucester.

Last night, Harlequins survived a Bath fightback to win 35-28.

Half-time

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

Alex Goode
Reuters

Moments of brilliance from Saracens' Alex Goode and London Irish's Alex Lewington to touchdown have been the highlights so far.

The Premiership's bottom side, London Irish, in their home game away from home lead a Saracens side that will want to return to the top of the table with victory in New Jersey.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

London Irish showing great patience, switching the ball from left to right and back again looking for a weakness in Saracens' defence.

The wall of blue Sarries shirts, however, leaves the Exiles with nothing to show and we enter the final minute of the first half.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

Stifling stuff as the breakdown from both sides.

The game only truly looking alive when London Irish have ball in hand. For a side that are at the foot of the table and guilty of some mediocre rugby this season, they are well worth their lead.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

Prop Halani Aulika is back on for London Irish after getting the okay for a earlier knock.

There is a breather as the television match official studies play for a penalty. Everyone takes advantage of the pause in play.

Action restarts with a Saracens line-out inside London Irish's 22.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

London Irish pinged for the scrum collapse third time around.

Saracens with the penalty and Saracens' Ben Spencer is off target again from the tee. The scrum-half looks frustrated.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

First Premiership scrum on United States soil. Saracens feed.

So many firsts today. All so very special...

Scrum collapses. Re-sets twice. Not so special, I guess.

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

London Irish prop Leo Halavatau enters the game as a replacement for Halani Aulika and makes a hit that reverberates around the ground. 

Sound early impact, that. #wordplay

Penalty (Tonks)

London Irish 13-7 Saracens

Greig Tonks lands the points as play is again pulled back for that penalty. Every bit helps.

London Irish 10-7 Saracens

London Irish get their rolling maul working for them inside Saracens' 22m.

A penalty is won, but audaciously Greig Tonks tries to find Alex Lewington with a kick to the right. It was a free hit, why not? And it almost came off.

London Irish 10-7 Saracens

London Irish have really taken this United States experiment to heart and they are playing with great attacking endeavour.

A kick over the defence and Topsy Ojo gets half a glimpse of space out on the left. The ball is moved back inside, but the attack peters out.

Try (Lewington, con Tonks)

London Irish 10-7 Saracens

London Irish try
BBC Sport

Hands off, hands off! Alex Lewington can not be stopped. With a swan dive the winger puts London Irish ahead again. Slippery character to wriggle through attempted tackles on the way to the line.

A neat pass from Scott Steele put Lewington through.

Try (Goode, con Spencer)

London Irish 3-7 Saracens

Saracens try
BBC Sport

Alex Goode, released from England's Six Nations duties to make the United States, blasts through London Irish's defence after taking Chris Wyles' pass. Great solo try.

I'm not quite sure how he has got through there as he had about five pairs of hands on him. Once he had got away it was a good finish.

Andrew FenbyLondon Irish full-back on BBC Radio Berkshire

London Irish 3-0 Saracens

Kick tennis. Fun. Not. Nor entertaining, as the sound of the crowd indicates.

London Irish 3-0 Saracens

Not a great amount of territory being made by Saracens, but in typical fashion they make slow and steady progress.

A neat pass from Brad Barritt puts Chris Wyles though a gap. Penalty won, Saracens tee up a kick. But Ben Spencer misses a sitter.