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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008, 15:24 GMT
Treviso 11-24 London Irish
Heineken Cup
Treviso (0) 11
Tries: De Jager
Pens: Goosen 2

London Irish (19) 24
Tries: Richards, De Vedia, Hewat 2
Cons: Hewat 2

London Irish secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup with victory over Italian side Treviso.

Irish topped Pool One thanks to their bonus-point victory which also secures them a home tie in the next round.

Three first-half tries from Peter Richards, Tomas de Vedia and Peter Hewat gave them a 19-0 half-time lead with Hewat adding the fourth late on.

Treviso staged a second-half comeback with a try through Benjamin De Jager and two penalties from Maruis Goosen.

Exiles scrum-half Peter Richards failed to re-appear for the second half, prompting concerns over his fitness as he joins the England squad on Monday for training ahead of the Six Nations.

We have a big advantage playing at home in the last eight

Exiles coach Brian Smith

Coach Brian Smith had clearly told his players to chase the four tries they needed for the bonus point and the visitors threw caution to the wind.

But they did not secure it until the eighth minute of injury time, when full-back Hewat crossed.

They ran into some spirited defence in the first quarter and it took 22 minutes before the first points came, Richards capitalising after Irish took a scrum when Nicolas De Gegori dived into a ruck.

Wing De Vedia caught Shane Geraghty's cross-field kick on the full and raced the length of the 22 for his own score.

Treviso far more competitive at the break-down in the second half and dominated the territory in the third quarter, scoring two penalties in the process.

Argentine Lucas Borges and Australian full-back Brendan Williams combined to send Treviso's South African wing Thomas de Jager over in the left corner for a consolation try.

  • London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith

    "We were a bit patchy in the second half, but this is a great achievement for the club to reach the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time.

    "We wanted to keep our line intact, but they managed to score a good try. But we've finished with 25 tries in the pool and that shows our attacking potential.

    "We have a big advantage playing at home in the last eight and I don't think anyone is going to enjoy coming to the Madejski Stadium. We'll probably start as the underdogs, but that's the way we like it."

    Treviso: Brendan Williams; Lucas Borges, Heidtmann, Goosen (capt.), Benjamin De Jager; Andrea Marcato, Fabio Semenzato; Dion Kingi, Hottie Louw; Robert Barbieri; Corniel van Zyl, Roderick Labuschagne; Salvatore Costanzo, Franco Sbaraglini, Nicolas De Gregori.
    Replacements: Diego Vidal, Michal Barbieri, William Johnson, Silvio Orlando, Scott Palmer, Emiliano Mulieri,Alberto Sgarbi.

    London Irish: Hewat, De Vedia, D Armitage, Tiesi, Tagicakibau, Geraghty, Richards; Lea'aetoa, Paice, Rautenbach, Kennedy, Casey, Thorpe, Danaher, Leguizamon.
    Replacements: D. Murphy, Coetzee, Hudson, P Murphy, S Armitage, Hodgson, Hickey.

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