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London Irish v Llanelli Scarlets - Pool 5


An Tarbh

Mike Catt has recovered from a leg injury to take his place at inside centre and captain. Irish have made 4 changes from the side which faced Sale last Sunday. David Paice starts at hooker. Aidan McCullen comes in at blindside flanker. Declan Danaher starts at openside.

The Scarlets have made a total of six changes, plus three positional from the side which beat Newcastle in the EDF Cup. Regan King moves to outside centre to allow Gavin Evans to return to inside centre, with Matthew Watkins missing out. Ceiron Thomas moves back to full-back with Stephen Jones returning at fly-half. Phil John and Daecon Manu miss out and are replaced by Iestyn Thomas and Craig Dunlea. Skipper Simon Easterby moves to blindside to accomodate Gavin Thomas while Vernan Cooper comes into the second row.

London Irish: 15 Michael Horak, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Seilala Mapusua, 12 Mike Catt ©, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Riki Flutey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Juan Leguizamon, 7 Declan Danaher, 6 Aidan McCullen, 5 James Hudson, 4 Kieran Roche, 3 Richard Skuse, 2 David Paice, 1 Neal Hatley.
Replacements: 16 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 17 Danie Coetzee, 18 Dan Murphy, 19 Olivier Magne, 20 Gonzalo Tiesi, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Delon Armitage.;

Llanelli Scarlets: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Dafydd James, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Mark Jones, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Alix Popham, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Simon Easterby ©, 5 Inoke Afeaki, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Craig Dunlea, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Aled Gravelle, 17 Deacon Manu, 18 Adam M Jones, 19 Nathan Thomas, 20 Clive Stuart-Smith, 21 Darren Daniel, 22 Barry Davies.

Referee: Romain Poite has replaced Christophe Berdos
Scarlets made their intentions quite clear with their win in Reading tonight, comprehensive in the end with them running out 25-32 winners in the end and a bonus point to boot.

Originally posted by BBC Sport
Llanelli Scarlets had to cling on for victory and five points after a fierce last-quarter fightback by the Exiles.

Early on they were much the better side and tries by Dafydd Jones, Simon Easterby, Iestyn Thomas and Mark Jones put them on top with 20 minutes left.

But tries by Phil Murphy and Seilala Mapusa gave home fans hope of a shock comeback, raised even higher when Scarlets' Nathan Thomas was sin-binned.

Delron Armitage added another but the gap proved just too much to claw back.

Two penalties by Barry Everitt and one for Stephen Jones were the only scores in the first 34 minutes, before Ceiron Thomas' hoof upfield set up a Scarlets attack, and Regan King supplied Dafydd James to go over in the right corner.

Jones converted and that was how it stayed until sustained Scarlets pressure was rewarded with an Easterby try.

Mark Jones slipped through the tightest of spaces to add another and Thomas' close-range barge over the line ensured a bonus point for the visitors.

Murphy scored from a forward drive to pull one back for the Exiles, before Mapusa sprinted 40 yards to score and set up a grandstand finish.

A two-man overlap set up Armitage for the final score of the night but there was no time for London Irish to get any closer than seven points.

Not the hardest stadium to win at is the Madejeski, but a 5 pointer away from home certainly won't do their progress chances any harm.

Plus it's always nice to see the, ahem, eejit OIrish fans squirm.
plus its nice to see the welsh two from two against english opposition in the competition tht counts.

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