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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Saturday, 4 December 2010

London Irish 14-23 Leicester

London Irish (3) 14
Tries: Ojo Pens: Lamb 3
Leicester (9) 23
Tries: Waldrom, penalty Cons: Twelvetrees 2 Pens: Twelvetrees 3

Topsy Ojo
Topsy Ojo crossed for London Irish's only try at the Madejski

Leicester powered past London Irish to climb above the Exiles into second in the Premiership table.

Billy Twelvetrees kicked three penalties to give the Tigers a 9-0 advantage, before Ryan Lamb's place kick cut the half-time deficit.

Topsy Ojo crossed in the corner to get Irish back in it but Thomas Waldrom's try restored the visitors' lead.

Two more Lamb penalties looked to set up a grandstand finish, before a penalty try secured Leicester the win.

The Tigers' victory came as a result of their domination in the pack as Irish never looked likely of ending their winless run, which has now stretched to five games.

Home fly-half Lamb endured a torrid opening period under pressure from the visiting back row as the Leicester defence made sure Irish were unable to take advantage of some decent possession.

The hosts were punished by Twelvetrees' penalties, one of which was from the halfway line, and Leicester's lead could have been greater had a Waldrom score not been chalked off for a crooked line-out throw.

Despite the home pack struggling to keep the opposition at bay, Lamb landed a 49-metre penalty before the break and the Exiles returned for the second period with renewed vigour.

The improving Lamb collected the ball after good work from Chris Hala'ufia and Paul Hodgson and chipped over the Leicester defence for Ojo to gather and cross in the corner.

Lamb's conversion fell short and, reprieved from going behind, the Tigers were able to extend the lead when, after good work by their pack in the loose, Geordan Murphy gave Waldrom the chance to jog over unchallenged.

Twelvetrees' conversion gave Leicester an eight-point buffer but two Lamb penalties, the first after an 11-phase Irish attack, put the hosts back in contention.

However, the result was put beyond doubt when the Irish scrum was put under extreme pressure on their own line.

Three times they were forced backwards and, when referee David Pearson lost patience, Irish's chances of at least securing a losing bonus point were ended and Leicester's third successive league win was confirmed.


London Irish head coach Toby Booth:
"It is very disappointing today. I'm disappointed for the fans and the people who have come to watch today because parts of that were pretty ordinary but we still managed to get ourselves into a position to win the game.

"We are still within reach although elements of our game were not good enough.

"This game is about momentum, pressure and making people do things. If you can't keep possession for long periods of time, it doesn't matter how good a side you are or how good your individuals are, you cannot sustain pressure."

Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill:
"That is a big win away from home for us. It is our first win in the Premiership away from home and it is points against a side who were above us and cements us in the top four.

"We have just tried to work as hard as we can with the players we have got. What we have tried to do consistently over a number of years is the guys who go on the field believe in themselves and I believe in them.

"The forward pack as a whole were really good. (George) Skivington and (Louis) Deacon really gelled well and were really physical against a good line-out."


London Irish: D. Armitage; Ojo, Seveali'i, Bowden, Joseph; Lamb, Hodgson; Dermody, Paice, Rautenbach, Kennedy, Roche, Stowers, Thorpe, Hala'ufia.

Replacements: Tagicakibau for Ojo (66), Mapusua for Bowden (55), Corbisiero for Dermody (66), Blaney for Paice (18), Ion for Rautenbach (55), Garvey for Roche (55), S. Armitage for Stowers (62). Not Used: Malone.

Leicester: Murphy; Hamilton, Smith, Allen, A. Tuilagi; Twelvetrees, Youngs; Ayerza, Chuter, Cole, Deacon, Skivington, Waldrom, Newby, Crane.

Replacements: M. Tuilagi for Murphy (75), Castrogiovanni for Cole (62), Slater for Deacon (78), Mafi for Waldrom (74). Not Used: Hawkins, Bucknall, Grindal, Staunton.

Attendance: 11,405

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU).



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see also
Guscott's predictions
05 Dec 10 |  English
Irish must stay positive - Roche
02 Dec 10 |  London Irish
Tagicakibau 'only spoke to Irish'
30 Nov 10 |  London Irish
London Irish not panicking - Ojo
01 Dec 10 |  London Irish
Duo extend London Irish contracts
29 Nov 10 |  London Irish
Northampton 35-23 London Irish
26 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Croft likely to miss Six Nations
23 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Leicester 44-19 Newcastle
27 Nov 10 |  English


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