London Irish v Harlequins (Sat)

Discussion in 'Aviva Premiership / LV Cup' started by getofmeland, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. getofmeland

    getofmeland Guest

    <div align="center"> London Irish v Harlequins (Sat)
    Venue: Madejski Stadium Date: Saturday, 19 April Kick-off: 1445 BST
    Coverage: Listen live on the BBC Sport website
    <div align="center">[​IMG]
    </div> Peter Richards, normally a scrum-half, returns for Irish at outside centre, while Shane Geraghty moves to fly-half.

    The Exiles also bring in prop Dan Murphy, hooker David Paice and flanker Steffon Armitage.

    Quins welcome back wing David Strettle for the first time since he was injured on England duty in the Six Nations.

    He is one of four changes, with Tosh Masson returning in the backs and hooker Gary Botha and number eight Nick Easter coming in up front.

    London Irish: Hewat; Ojo, Richards, Mapusua, Tagicakibau; Geraghty, Hodgson, D Murphy, Paice, Rautenbach, Hudson, Casey (capt), Danaher, S Armitage, Thorpe.
    Replacements: Lea'aetoa, Coetzee, Johnson, P Murphy, Leguizamon, Mordt, Hickey.

    Harlequins: Brown; Strettle, Monye, Masson, Williams; Jarvis, Care; C Jones, Botha, Ross, Kohn, Robson, Robshaw, Skinner, Easter.
    Replacements: Fuga, Brooks, Evans, Guest, So'oialo, Malone, Barry.

    From BBC Sport
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  3. getofmeland

    getofmeland Guest

    London Irish 13-6 Harlequins
    London Irish (0) 13
    Tries: Ojo Cons: Hickey Pens: Hickey 2

    Harlequins (3) 6
    Pens: Jarvis 2

    London Irish kept their remote Premiership play-off hopes alive as they edged past Harlequins in a game dominated by defence.

    Harlequins took a 3-0 half-time lead, against the run of play, courtesy of an Adrian Jarvis penalty.

    Quins had Mike Brown sin-binned after 65 minutes and Eoghan Hickey kicked two penalties to edge Irish in front.

    He also converted Topsy Ojo's late try but Quins grabbed a losing bonus point through Jarvis's last-gasp penalty.

    Whereas Harlequins have been powering up the table in recent weeks London Irish have been having greater success in Europe.

    They face French giants Toulouse in the Heineken Cup semi-finals in a week's time but qualifying for a place in Europe's premier club competition for next season via the Premiership remains uncertain, even after this win.

    London Irish enjoyed territorial dominance in the opening quarter, with Shane Geraghty's wide passing a feature as they looked to attack on the flanks, but they could not force a breakthrough as Quins defended doggedly.

    The visitors enjoyed a stroke of luck in the 15th minute when Ugo Monye was penalised for not rolling away after tackling Peter Richards in midfield.

    Former New South Wales Waratahs full-back Peter Hewat has a big reputation as a place-kicker, but he hit the post from a very kickable position, and it was the visitors who got on the scoreboard before the break.

    Harlequins finally managed some time in the London Irish half and, although they never threatened the hosts' line, when the Exiles infringed after 34 minutes fly-half Jarvis stepped up to nudge Quins into a 3-0 interval lead.

    The visitors' defence had been their best quality during the opening 40 minutes and they were put to the test right from the whistle as Irish came out with renewed purpose.

    But Hewat missed a penalty two minutes after the restart and the full-back limped off a couple of minutes later after taking a blow in a tackle.

    The hosts kept hammering away, with Samoa centre Seilala Mapusua prominent, and they finally got on the board with quarter of an hour to go.

    Sailosi Tagicakibau butchered an overlap 10m from the Quins line but Brown was yellow-carded for infringing at the ruck and replacement Hickey drilled the penalty between the sticks.

    With 10 minutes to go Quins prop Mike Ross tackled Richards without the ball and Hickey was again on target to give the hosts the lead.

    Jarvis missed a long-range penalty which would have levelled the scores but Ojo then latched onto Mapusua's pass before finishing in fine style from the 22, with Hickey converting.

    It looked like rough justice for Quins as the pass had drifted forward, but they gained their reward for a resolute defensive display when Bob Casey infringed at the re-start.

    The Exiles captain was sin-binned for deliberate obstruction and Jarvis kept his head to earn Quins what could prove a vital losing bonus point in the race for the Premiership play-offs.

    London Irish forwards coach Toby Booth:
    "We wanted it to be a physical game. Quins play with a lot of physicality at the breakdown and that has given us all our contact skills for the Heineken Cup semi-final.

    "The hangover from Perpignan was evident last week and we have got on the front foot and said to the players 'if you want to replicate our run in the Heineken Cup next year we've got to qualify for Europe in the league' and that's what was driving us.

    "In the first half we must have had 75% possession. We were confident it would take its toll on Quins later on."

    Harlequins boss Dean Richards:
    "It would have been harsh if we didn't get anything out of the game but I think London Irish deserved to win on the day.

    "When you concede as much first phase possession as we did, which was the most we've conceded all season, you are going to stand very little chance of winning.

    "The defence was massive from the guys and the enthusiasm from all the players was superb but you can't play without the ball."

    London Irish: Hewat; Ojo, Richards, Mapusua, Tagicakibau; Geraghty, Hodgson; Thorpe, S Armitage, Danaher, Casey, Hudson, Rautenbach, Paice, D Murphy.
    Replacements: Lea'aetoa, Coetzee, Johnson, P Murphy, Leguizamon, Mordt, Hickey.

    Harlequins: Brown, Strettle, Monye, Masson, Williams, Jarvis, Care, Easter, Skinner, Robshaw, Robson, Kohn, Ross, Botha, Jones.
    Replacements: Fuga, Brooks, Evans, Guest, So'oialo, Malone, Barry.

    Referee: Chris White (RFU)

    From BBC Sport
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