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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 05 May 2012
Kick Off: 14:00
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Dave Pearson
Assistant Referee: Paul Dix
Assistant Referee: Stuart Terheege
Captain Bob Casey was man of the match in his 235th and final appearance for the Club. Delon Armitage was a very close second as he continued his exceptional form, scoring his fourth try in three matches.
Darren Allinson, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Jonathan Joseph, and Marland Yarde were the other try scorers. The latter crossing for a brace after coming on as a second half replacement.
The Exiles produced an outstanding first half display of rugby and were clinical whenever the opportunity arose.
Tom Homer was as reliable as ever with the boot as he kicked four penalties inside the first 20 minutes, all of which were by no means easy chances. Freddie Burns reduced the arrears with a penalty of his own and soon after the visitors crossed for the games first try.
The cherry and whites enjoyed a good spell of possession in the Exiles half, as they went through the phases to create their chance. Their patience was rewarded as Tom Voyce crossed in the far corner to put his side back in touch.
Homer booted another penalty goal to increase the Exiles advantage before the departing Delon Armitage was instrumental in London Irish’s first try.
The winger sent a wide pass to Jonathan Joseph who evaded the first tackle and gave the ball back inside to Armitage who sprinted down the touchline. One on one with the fullback he passed the ball back inside to Darren Allinson who dived over for his first try for the club. Homer converted to extend the lead.
The first try instigated 10 minutes of London Irish at their attacking best. The Samoan try scoring machine, Sailosi Tagicakibau, picked a great inside line off Steve Shingler and ran in untouched under the posts. The Exiles showed patience in attack and took advantage when the space appeared. Homer added the conversion and suddenly the Exiles were 29-11 ahead.
There was still time for one last try in the first half and it came straight from the kick off. Bryn Evans claimed the restart before the ball was worked wide to Jonathan Joseph. The young centre fended off his opposite man and ran in from 50 metres. The Exiles went into the break 34 -11 ahead.
The second half was very similar to the first from the Exiles point of view. Homer added a sixth penalty on 56 minutes before the tries followed.
Second row replacement Kieran Roche, who announced his retirement earlier this week, found himself out wide with the ball in space in a two on two situation. Rather than taking the contact or passing the ball, Kieran put in an audacious chip over the on rushing defence that was claimed by Marland Yarde who ran in for his first Premiership try.
London Irish were from here until the end unstoppable. Gloucester were being carved apart by the Exiles who were unable to live with their tempo.
Delon Armitage was immense all afternoon and thoroughly deserved to score a try in his final match. It was vintage Armitage at his brilliant best. The England man had the strength to beat two tacklers before sprinting in from long range for his final Exiles try.
Marland Yarde scored his second after the outside backs were again brilliant in their build up play. The young winger received the ball from Joseph and showed his pace to finish in the corner.
The visitors scored a second with a minute left but it didn’t take anything away from London Irish who were simply exceptional.
They finish the season in 7th position on 46 points.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 3-0, 3-3, 6-3, 9-3, 12-3, 12-8, 15-8, 22-8, 22-11, 29-11, 34-11, 37-11, 42-11, 47-11, 52-11, 52-18
Scorers: London Irish: Penalties; Homer (6, 13, 16, 19, 27, 56); Tries: Allinson (29), Tagicakibau (37), Joseph (38), Yarde (63, 76), Armitage (67); Conversions: Homer (2); Gloucester: Penalties; Burns (7, 33); Tries: Tom Voyce (23, 79); Conversions: Burns
London Irish team
15. Tom Homer (rep: Marland Yarde, 62); 14. Delon Armitage; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Joe Ansbro; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Steve Shingler (rep: Adrian Jarvis, 64); 9. Darren Alllinson (rep: Paul Hodgson, 59); 1. Max Lahiff (rep: Paulica Ion, 75); 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Faan Rautenbach, 47); 4. Bryn Evans (rep: James Buckland, 49); 5. Bob Casey (Captain) (rep: Matt Garvey, 59); 6. Jamie Gibson (rep: Kieran Roche, 40); 7. David Sisi; 8. Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16. James Buckland; 17. Paulica Ion; 18. Faan Rautenbach; 19. Matt Garvey; 20. Kieran Roche; 21. Marland Yarde; 22. Adrian Jarvis; 23. Paul Hodgson
15. Tom Voyce; 14. Charlie Sharples; 13. Jonny May; 12. Mike Tindall; 11. Ollie Phillips (rep: Ian Clark, 64); 10. Freddie Burns; 9. Dave Lewis; 1. Dan Murphy; 2. Darren Dawidiuk (rep: Scott Lawson, 24); 3. Rupert Harden (rep: Shaun Knight, 45); 4. Jim Hamilton (Captain); 5. Alex Brown; 6. Tom Savage; 7. Alasdair Strokosch (rep: Akapusi Qera, 50); 8. Matt Cox (rep: Peter Buxton, 55)
Replacements: 16. Scott Lawson; 17. Yann Thomas; 18. Shaun Knight; 19. Peter Buxton; 20. Akapusi Qera; 21. Dan Robson; 22. Tim Taylor; 23. Ian Clark
Referee: Dave Pearson