Wednesday, 30 January 2013

London Irish 46 Worcester 24: match report -

Both sides fielded reasonably strong line-ups, although influential number eight Chris Hala'ufia was a late withdrawal for Irish with a back spasm.

Worcester made a bright start and took the lead after only three minutes when Danny Gray kicked an easy penalty.

However, Irish were level after nine minutes when Sailosi Tagicakibau powered past two defenders forcing the visitors to concede a penalty which Homer made no mistake with.

Against the run of play, Irish scored the first try of the game.

An aimless chip ahead by Shane Geraghty was not dealt with by the visitors defence as they stood and watched, allowing Yarde to collect the loose ball. The wing made ground into the opposition 22 and set up the ruck from which Aulika emerged to brush past a weak tackle from Ceri Jones to run unopposed to the posts for a try which Homer converted.

The Warriors continued to have the better of possession and territory but once again their elementary errors gifted Irish their second try.

From deep inside their own 22 they allowed Yarde to run 50 metres and then missed two further tackles on Matt Garvey before the lock was hauled down 10 metres from the line.

Irish maintained the pressure, though, and from a lineout five metres out Aulika drove over for his second try which Homer converted to give the hosts a healthy 17-3 advantage.

Those two tries seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Warriors and they allowed Irish to dominate the remainder of the half.

Further missed tackles enabled the home side to gain a platform in the opposition 22 from which another chip through from Geraghty saw Yarde win the race for the touchdown to secure a 22-3 interval lead.

Within minutes of the restart Homer extended the Irish lead with his second penalty but the Warriors responded with some fight.

Following a period of pressure Danny Gray darted over from close range for a try which he converted with Irish suffering a further blow with a yellow card for George Skivington.

However, back came the Irish to seal victory with their bonus-point try when Alex Gray was driven over from a lineout with Homer converting with a splendid kick from the touchline.

Worcester responded with a try from David Lemi, the wing impressing to squeeze his way over in the corner for the score which Andy Goode converted.

Yarde evaded two tackles to score his second try and then, after the Warriors had responded with a score from James Percival, he completed his hat-trick two minutes from time with a thrilling individual effort.

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