O’Connor inspires London Irish to Worcester win

James O’Connor scored all of London Irish’s in their 22-9 Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester Warriors at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The result brings an end to a seven match losing streak for London Irish and moves them above Newcastle Falcons.

Neither side headed into this encounter in decent form, with the hosts having
been narrowly defeated at home to Gloucester a week earlier, and Worcester well
beaten by Saracens.

Though the Exiles emerged comfortable winners, in reality this was a tight
affair throughout, with try-scoring opportunities difficult to come by in heavy
conditions.

Instead, it was the hosts’ O’Connor and Worcester’s Chris Pennell who would
trade efforts on goal for the majority of proceedings.

Pennell’s three-pointer on 19 minutes cancelled out O’Connor’s five minutes
earlier, and each added a second penalty in the closing stages of the first
half to ensure it was all square at the interval.

But it was one-way traffic for the majority of the second half as O’Connor’s
points onslaught continued to take London Irish clear in the contest.

His three penalties in ten minutes just ahead of the hour-mark made it made
it 15-6 to the hosts, and just after that the hosts struck a hammer blow.

Shane Geraghty’s sublime pass found O’Connor in space and he scored the try,
before adding the conversion to make it 22-6 with time ticking away for Worcester.

The best the visitors could muster in the minutes that followed was a third
Pennell penalty, and though Worcester pushed for a try in the dying minutes,
the Exiles defence held firm to see out the win.

Final Score London Irish (6) 22 Worcester (6) 9

Scorers

London Irish
Tries – O’Connor
Pen – O’Connor 5
Con – O’Connor
Drop –

Worcester
Tries –
Pen – Pennell 3
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:
Wayne Barnes (130th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank and Andrew Pearce.
TMO: Sean Davey.

Teams

London Irish

15. James O’Connor; 14.Topsy Ojo; 13.Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Shane Geraghty; 9. Tomas O’Leary; 1. John Yapp; 2. Mike Mayhew; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. George Skivington (Captain); 5. Nic Rouse; 6. Kieran Low; 7. Blair Cowan; 8. Ofisa Treviranus

Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17. Matt Parr; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19.Jebb Sinclair; 20. Declan Danaher; 21. Alex Lewington; 22. Ian Humphreys; 23. Ed Hoadley

London Irish

15 Chris Pennell (c) , 14 James Stephenson , 13 Alex Grove , 12 Ravai Fatiaki , 11 Josh Drauniniu , 10 Paul Warwick , 9 Jeremy Su’a, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Sam Betty , 6 Richard de Carpentier , 5 Mariano Galarza , 4 James Percival , 3 Rob O’Donnell , 2 Chris Brooker ,1 Ofa Fainga’anuku

Replacements : 16 Ed Shervington , 17 George Porter , 18 John Andress , 19 Chris Jones , 20 Semisi Taulava , 21 Jonny Arr , 22 Ignacio Mieres , 23 Josh Matavesi

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