Mixed report card for new signing Ashton
September 1, 2012
Saracens Chris Ashton made a high-profile switch from Premiership rivals Northampton © Getty Images
Saracens' Chris Ashton wasted little time in making and impact at his new club with two tries and a yellow card in their 40-3 thrashing of Aviva Premiership rivals London Irish at Twickenham.
His eye-catching display in his first competitive outing for the club earned high praise from director of rugby Mark McCall that was tempered by a reckless first half challenge that saw him sidelined by referee Wayne Barnes following an intervention from the Television Match Official.
"He brings something different, he's never far away from where the action is, particularly when we've got the ball," said McCall. "He pops up in unusual positions, which is exactly what we wanted. We are hoping he will take our attacking game forward. He played really well today and a lot of the others did too."
Ashton saw yellow for a shoulder charge on Irish's Steve Shingler and his reaction in front of the ESPN TV cameras drew scorn from his boss. "It wasn't his finest hour. He didn't use his arms in the tackle. It was an indisciplined thing to have done and I've no complaints about the decision."
But McCall has been impressed by Ashton's attitude since arriving from Northampton. "He's got his own reputation but we've found him very good so far. I think some of the reputation he has is unfair," he said. "He just wants a new start and he's chucked himself into the club. He came a week early to get to know the people he didn't know already and the players appreciated that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton