Match Report 

26 Feb 2012: London Irish v Northampton Saints

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Match Report: 26 Feb 2012 London Irish v Northampton Saints

London Irish's Badge

London Irish


Saints's Badge

Northampton Saints


Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership

Match Date: Sun 26 Feb 2012

Kick Off: 13:15

Venue: Madejski Stadium

Referee: Andrew Small

TV Match Official: David Grashoff

Assistant Referee: Greg Garner

Assistant Referee: Roy Maybank

Ben Nutley scored a try with two minutes remaining to give his side victory over London Irish at Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

The back rower charged down a London Irish kick in their 22 before reclaiming to score under the posts. The two sides had shared six tries before this point which saw the scores level at 23 all. Nutley’s try ensured Northampton walked away with the win and five points.

Irish made a bright start to the match showing their attacking intent from the off. The ball was spun wide to Tagicakibau who broke of two tackles to take Irish up to half way. Adrian Jarvis nudged a nicely weighted kick into Northampton’s 22, giving his side a great attacking position to mount an attack.

Northampton gradually came into the contest after resisting early Irish pressure and crossed for the first try of the match on 11 minutes. They countered from their own half to put themselves in a good position to score and showed good hands down the left hand flank to put Noah Cato in at the corner. Stephen Myler missed the conversion and the score was Saints 5 Irish 0.

Irish continued to show attacking endeavour after conceding the try and dominated territory for the following 10 minutes. Adrian Jarvis cut the deficit to just two points on 24 minutes with a penalty goal from in front of the posts.

Only a minute later Delon Armitage crossed for the first Exiles try. Topsy Ojo did brilliantly to claim a high ball, before the ball was passed down the line to the destructive Sailosi Tagicakibau, who ran over his opposite number before putting the ball back inside to Delon Armitage. The full back kicked the ball through the defence, reclaimed and dived over to score. Adrian Jarvis added the conversion to give Irish a five point lead.

Stephen Myler and Adrian Jarvis traded penalties moving into the closing stages of the first half as Irish retained their five point advantage.

Irish edged further ahead when Tagicakibau scored his second try in two matches and it was certainly opportunistic. Matt Garvey was quickest to react to a Northampton fumble and popped the ball up to Dan Bowden who booted the ball into the Northampton 22. Delon Armitage came hurtling down the middle of the field and was first to the ball. The full back found Topsy Ojo who in turn passed to Tagicakibau who powered out of one tackle to score in the corner. Jarvis missed the conversion but Irish had still opened up a 10 point lead.

Stephen Myler kicked his second penalty on the stroke of half time to make it London Irish 18 Northampton 11 at the break.

Irish began the second half in the ascendancy with Danaher and Joseph combining beautifully to put Irish on the front foot. On this occasion the ball went back to Adrian Jarvis who had his attempted drop goal charged down. The Saints regrouped well, turning defence into attack and were rewarded when Roger Wilson crossed on 44 minutes to bring his side right back into the contest.

The visitors took the lead on the 50 minute mark with a try from Paul Diggin. Stephen Myler sent a fizzed pass, which cut out three Irish defenders, to send the full back over.

Irish needed a response and they got one with a try from Dec Danaher. Nick Kennedy was heavily involved in the build-up making huge inroads into Northampton territory. The ball was spun back down the line and into the hands of Danaher who powered his way over in the corner. The passionate veteran put the scores level.

Both sides continued to play some scintillating rugby to try and work a point scoring opportunity. Both sides showed plenty of discipline to deny the opposition scoring opportunities.

It was 20 minutes before the next points were scored and these points determined the outcome.

London Irish head to Adam’s Park next weekend to face London Wasps in Round 17 of the Aviva Premiership.

Score sequence (London Irish first) 0-5, 3-5, 10-5, 10-8, 13-8, 18-8, 18-11, 18-16, 18-23, 23-23, 23-30

Scorers: London Irish: Penalties: Jarvis (24, 32); Tries: Armitage (25), Tagickaibau (34), Danaher (57); Conversions: Jarvis; Northampton Saints: Tries: Cato (11), Wilson (44), Diggin (52), Nutley, (78); Penalties: Myler (30, 40); Conversions: Lamb

London Irish team

15. Delon Armitage; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph (rep: Jonathan Spratt, 72); 12. Daniel Bowden; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau (rep: Tom Homer, 77); 10. Adrian Jarvis; 9. Ross Samson (rep: Darren Allinson, 54); 1. Max Lahiff (rep: Clarke Dermody, 62); 2. James Buckland (rep: Brian Blaney, 43); 3. Faan Rautenbach (rep: Paulica Ion, 59); 4. Nick Kennedy (Captain) (rep: Kieran Roche, 73); 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Declan Danaher; 7. Richard Thorpe; 8. Chris Hala’ufia (rep: Jebb Sinclair, 65)

Replacements: 16. Brian Blaney; 17. Clarke Dermody; 18. Paulica Ion; 19. Kieran Roche; 20. Jebb Sinclair; 21. Tom Homer; 22. Jonathan Spratt; 23. Darren Allinson

Northampton Saints team

15. Paul Diggin; 14. Vasily Artemyev; 13. George Pisi; 12. James Downey; 11. Noah Cato (rep: Tom May, 50); 10. Stephen Myler (rep: Ryan Lamb, 62); 9. Martin Roberts; 1. Soane Tonga’uiha (rep: Alex Waller, 62); 2. Andy Long; 3. Paul Doran-Jones (rep: Brian Mujati, 59); 4. Mark Sorenson; 5. Christian Day (rep: Ben Nutley, 66); 6. Samu Manoa (rep: James Criag, 77); 7. Calum Clark (Captain); 8. Roger Wilson

Replacements: 16. Ross Mcmillan; 17. Alex Waller; 18. Brian Mujati; 19. James Craig; 20. Ben Nutley; 21. Ryan Glynn; 22. Ryan Lamb; 23. Tom May

Referee: Andrew Small

Attendance: 10, 172