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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 25 Sep 2010
Kick Off: 17:15
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Wayne Barnes
TV Match Official: Trevor Fisher
Assistant Referee: Robin Goodliffe
Assistant Referee: Alan Biggs
The Exiles winger scored his first club hat trick for four and a half years as Irish tore their hosts to pieces with six scintillating tries to claim top spot in the Aviva Premiership.
<1r>Toby Booth’s side made a superb start to the match and found themselves with a 14-0 lead inside a quarter of an hour. It was classic Exiles attacking rugby with pace, panache and power aplenty.
The Irish backline rarely need an invitation to go on the front foot but Newcastle’s charitable and clumsy early play was like a red rag to a rampaging bull.
There were only eight minutes on the clock when scrum half Paul Hodgson pick pocketed a Newcastle attack deep inside the Exiles half, before slipping the ball to the alert Ojo who booted a low kick into the acres of space behind the over committed Falcons line where it was scooped up by Delon Armitage.
The England fullback made ground and then returned the favour by slipping the ball back to Ojo who did the rest and touched down between the posts.
If the first try was down to opportunism, the second was down to pure rugby excellence. With an Irish attack in danger of becoming stagnant, in form fly half Ryan Lamb chipped a kick behind the Newcastle backline and into grasp of Seilala Mapusua.
The Samoan centre collected the kick with deft brilliance and then had the simplest of tasks in feeding Ojo who sprinted through for his third try of the season.
Lamb again converted to give his side a 14-0 lead and silenced the sparsely populated Kingston Park.
However, Newcastle hit back 10 minutes later with a try of their own as Jimmy Gopperth skipped over after good work from the Falcons pack. Gopperth added the extras to cut the lead to 14-7.
With only seven points between the sides, the contest momentarily looked in the balance, but Irish made sure they went into the break with all the momentum, as academy winger Jonathan Joseph finished superbly after being put clear by Armitage near the 10 metre line as again Irish stretched their hosts with some superb attacking play.
Newcastle needed a stirring second half to bring themselves back into the match but once again they were guilty of sloppy errors and Booth’s charges were definitely not in a mood to let them off.
Lamb added two quick penalties early in the second half to stretch the lead to 25-7, before Irish once again turned on the style.
Again it was Mapusua at the heart of the action, this time with a breathtaking turn past three defenders and then reverse pass that left Newcastle chasing shadows and set up Bowden for his first club try and a well deserved bonus point.
Things then got much worse for the hosts as first, Ojo completed his hat trick from an interception after he had momenatirily stopped to help Armitage who was sprawled on the Kingston Park turf with cramp, and then the ever impressive Joseph pounced upon a wayward Falcons pass and charged unopposed to the line with searing speed.
Lamb added both conversions to take his match tally to 16 points and nudge the Exiles' tally to near the half century mark.
There was just enough time for Alex Tait to score a late consolation but it was not enough to spoil Irish’s excellent afternoon as they leapt to the top of the table with a superb 46-12 win.
Tries: Gopperth (25), Tait (78)
Conversion: Gopperth (25)
Tries: Ojo (8, 14, 62), Joseph (39, 72), Bowden (54)
Conversion: Lamb (8, 14, 55, 62, 72)
Penalty goals: Lamb (48, 51)
Scoring sequence(LI first): 7-0, 14-0, 14-7, 19-7 HT. 22-7, 25-7, 32-7, 39-7, 46-7, 46-12.
Newcastle: 15. Alex Tait; 14. Gcobani Bobo (Fielden, 51); 13. Luke Eves; 12. Andy Henderson; 11. Charlie Amesbury; 10. Jimmy Gopperth (Manning, 65); 9. Micky Young (Pilgrim, 56); 1. Jon Golding (Shiells, 51); 2. Rob Vickers; 3. Tim Ryan (Ward, 59); 4. Filipo Ryan; 5. Tim Swinson (Townson, 63); 6. Brent Wilson; 7. Redford Pennycock (Welch, 51); 8. Ally Hogg.
London Irish: 15. Delon Armitage (Tagicakibau, 63); 14. Topsy Ojo (Malone, 66); 13. Seilala Mapusua; 12. Daniel Bowden ; 11. Jonathon Joseph; 10. Ryan Lamb; 9. Paul Hodgson (Allinson, 70); 1. Clarke Dermody (captain) (Corbisiero, 48); 2. James Buckland (Paice, 51); 3. Faan Rautenbach (Lahiff, 59); 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Bob Casey (Garvey, 52); 6. Kieran Roche; 7. Declan Danaher (Fisher, 59); 8. George Stowers.