London Irish take third spot after beating Saints

London Irish moved back up to third place on the Guinness Premiership table as they edged the Northampton Saints 32-27 in a thrilling encounter on Sunday.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the second minute when skipper Bruce Reihana ghosted his way through for the opening try of the match.

Flyhalf Barry Everitt got the conversion over, but scores were soon level as Exiles winger Adam Thompstone darted in for the try. Tom Horner added the conversion before he and Everitt exchanged penalties to make it 10-10.

Horner then kicked two more penalties either side of a Roger Wilson try, but Everitt began to lose his kicking form and missed two shots at goal. The visitors were therefore forced to go into the break at 16-15 down.

After halftime England international Steffon Armitage was yellow carded and the Saints took advantage of the extra man as Reihana put over three penalties to take his side 16-24 up.

However, the visitors lost their discipline and Horner was gifted three easy shots at goal which were all successful and the Exiles were back in the lead at 25-24. Relentless pressure from Irish then resulted in a penalty try and Horner again banged the conversion over from right in front.

Saints pushed hard to get back, but they could only manage a last-gasp penalty from Reihana to at least ensure a bonus point for a 32-27 defeat.

Final Score London Irish 32 Northampton 27


London Irish
Try: Thompstone, Penalty Try.
Con: Horner (2).
Pen: Horner (6)

Tries: Reihana, Wilson.
Con: Everitt.
Pen: Everitt, Reihana (4)


London Irish : 15 Tom Homer, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Elvis Seveali’i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Mike Catt (captain), 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala’Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Gary Johnson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Richard Skuse, 2 Danie Coetzee, 1 Clarke Dermody.

Replacements: 16 Tonga Lea’aetoa, 17 David Paice, 18 Kieran Roche, 19 Jonathon Fisher, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Eoghan Hickey.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Bruce Reihana (capt), 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 James Downey, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Barry Everitt, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Neil Best, 6 Mark Easter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Barry Stewart, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.

Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Tom Smith, 18 Alex Rae, 19 Mark Hopley, 20 Stephen Myler, 21 Chris Mayor, 22 Paul Diggin.

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