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Fixture Type: LV= Cup
Match Date: Sat 28 Jan 2012
Kick Off: 18:30
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Nigel Owens
TV Match Official: Tony Rowlands
Assistant Referee: Neil Hennessy
Assistant Referee: Huw Griffiths
Vili Iongi crossed twice and Fijian international, Deacon Manu crossed on sixty minutes to seal an impressive victory. Topsy Ojo crossed for a great individual effort on sixty three minutes to put Irish in front, however it was Iongi who had the final say, scoring on 79 minutes to deny Irish a losing bonus point.
It was a game that saw London Irish with plenty of possession and territory but they were just not clinical enough in the final third to come away with the victory.
It was a very entertaining opening from an Exiles point of view that saw them dominate the opening exchanges. They were denied twice in the opening quarter by the TMO who ruled on both occasions that the ball had not been grounded properly over the try line. Firstly Jonathan Joseph put in a neat grubber kick that Tom Homer was deemed to have knocked on over on the try line and then Marland Yarde was ruled not to have grounded the ball on the line after taking an inside ball off Dan Bowden.
Tom Homer and Dan Newton traded penalties before Vili Iongi scored his first try of the game, completely against the run of play on 26 minutes. Newton added the conversion to give the Scarlets a seven point lead going into half time.
Irish made a positive start to the second stanza and were only one point behind thanks to two Homer penalties inside the first ten minutes of the re-start.
Scarlets edged further clear when Deacon Manu crossed on 60 minutes after an earlier Irish error in the lead up. Newton added the extras and again Irish were chasing the game.
Composure was required and Tom Homer was on hand to offer it. He kicked a penalty goal to cut the deficit, before Topsy Ojo found a small hole just outside the 22 and darted through it, beat the full back, and scored under the posts. Homer’s conversion put Irish in front by two points.
That was as good as it got for London Irish. Scarlets regained the lead with another penalty, before Iongi sealed the victory with a break away try in the last minute.
There were positives to take out of the game and that was the performances of Bowden, Shingler (before he went off), Joseph, Yarde and Sisi who were all outstanding. They were just lacking the cutting edge when it really mattered to come away with four points.
Gloucester visit Madejski Stadium next week in round four of the LV=Cup.
Score sequence (London Irish first) 3-0, 3-3, 3-10, 6-10, 9-10, 9-17, 12-17, 19-17, 19-20, 27-19
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Ojo (63); Conversions: Homer; Penalties: Homer (11, 42, 48, 62); Scarlets: Tries: Iongi (26, 80), Manu (60); Conversions: Newton 3; Penalties: Newton (14, 72)
15 Dan Newton; 14 Viliami Iongi; 13 Gareth Maule (capt); 12 Adam Warren; 11 Andy Fenby; 10 Aled Thomas; 9 Rhodri Williams (rep: Liam Davies, 50); 1 Iestyn Thomas (rep: Phil John, 50); 2 Emyr Phillips (rep: Kirby Myhill, 70); 3 Peter Edwards (rep: Deacon Manu, 50); 4 Adam Powell; 5 Dominic Day; 6 Mat Gilbert (rep: Craig Price, 70); 7 Johnathan Edwards; 8 Kieran Murphy
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill; 17 Phil John; 18 Deacon Manu; 19 Craig Price; 20 Dan Thomas; 21 Liam Davies; 22 Daniel Evans; 23 Nick Reynolds
London Irish team
15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Steven Shingler (rep: Shontayne Hape, 30); 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Dan Bowden (rep: Guy Armitage, 70); 9. Darren Allinson (rep: Ross Samson, 60); 1. Clarke Dermody (Captain) (rep: Max Lahiff, 60); 2. Brian Blaney; 3. Paulica Ion (rep: Faan Rautenbach, 40); 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Bryn Evans; 6. Kieran Low (rep: Kieran Roche, 40); 7. David Sisi; 8. Richard Thorpe
Replacements: 16. Peter Austin; 17. Max Lahiff; 18. Faan Rautenbach; 19. Alex Gray; 20. Kieran Roche; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Shontayne Hape; 23. Ross Samson
Referee: Nigel Owens