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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:13 UK

London Irish 18-12 Leicester

London Irish (18) 9
Penalties: Lamb (6)

Leicester (12) 3
Penalties: Staunton (3), Youngs

Ryan Lamb
Exiles fly-half Ryan Lamb kicked all of his side's points

London Irish moved to the top of the Guinness Premiership with a scrappy victory over Leicester Tigers.

Fly-half Ryan Lamb kicked six penalties to seal the win, while opposite number Jeremy Staunton replied with three and Ben Youngs one.

Leicester took a 15th-minute lead but Irish led 9-3 at the break with Lamb's boot proving the difference.

The Tigers also had flanker Lewis Moody sin-binned late on while prop Julian White was injured early in the game.

White suffered a hamstring injury in contact, ruling him out of the autumn international series, adding more woe for England coach Martin Johnson who is already without Sale prop Andrew Sheridan and Wasps's Phil Vickery.


Irish started brightly with flanker Steffon Armitage almost barging over in the opening minute while the Exiles were unlucky to see Sailosi Tagicakibau's try disallowed after Lamb's pass to him was judged to be forward.

Lamb started shakily with the boot missing a straightforward penalty in front of the posts early in the game but he composed himself to put in an assured performance.

The fly-half also had a late try disallowed for a knock-on in a game short of attacking flair and riddled with handling errors.

Irish will be displaced at the top of the Premiership table if Saracens can beat Leeds on Sunday while Leicester come away with the consolation of a losing bonus point.

London Irish coach Toby Booth:
"Ryan is only 22, and he is still learning to control a game. If he continues to do that, however, I am sure England will come to have a look at him.

"Leicester are a top team and the reigning champions. We had to earn the right to this win and I am very proud of the spirit and effort shown by the players.

"Everyone talked about how and why we lost narrowly at home to Llanelli Scarlets here last weekend, but we discussed it in-house and all you can do then is expect a response. We got a fine response."

Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill:

"Away from home, this is a good point, but there's a lot of frustration in the dressing room because we could have played better.

"It was a tight game which remained in the balance right up to the finish. Irish earned their win well but we know we had more in the locker."

London Irish: Hewat, Homer, Seveali'i, Mapusua, Tagicakibau, Lamb, Hodgson, Dermody, Coetzee, Ion, Kennedy, Casey, Stowers, S. Armitage, Hala'ufia.
Replacements: Murphy for Dermody (68), Paice for Coetzee (55), Rautenbach for Ion (63), Roche for Casey (65), Perry for Hala'ufia (71).

Not Used: Malone, Richards, Lalanne.

Leicester: Hamilton, J. Murphy, Hipkiss, Allen, Amorosino, Staunton, Grindal, Ayerza, Chuter, White, L. Deacon, Blaze, Croft, Moody, Crane.
Replacements: B. Youngs for Grindal (68), Castrogiovanni for White (4), Parling for Blaze (54).

Not Used: T. Youngs, Stankovich, B. Deacon, Twelvetrees, Forsyth.

Att: 16,199

Ref: W Barnes (RFU).

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see also
Injury-hit England make changes
26 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Guscott's predictions
25 Oct 09 |  English
Rugby union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union
Sale 8-11 London Irish
02 Oct 09 |  English
Leicester 19-14 Worcester
03 Oct 09 |  English

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