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On a bitterly cold afternoon which saw both sides play an attacking brand of rugby, it was the Exiles who outscored their French counterparts by two tries to one.
Irish started the match well, controlling possession well as they worked through their phases. However it was the visitors who were first to register on the scoreboard as Damien Deschamps dived over from close range after 11 minutes after a nice break from Baptiste Serin. Nicolas Sanchez added the conversion to give Bordeaux a seven point lead.
The Irish forwards and backs were working well together in attack, but credit to the visitors who were pressing well in defence and making life difficult for the Exiles.
The Exiles achieved their breakthrough on 29 minutes and it was an opportunistic score. Shane Geraghty took a quick throw in at the lineout and passed to Shingler who fed Joseph. The England International drew his man and passed to Marland Yarde, who sprinted past two defenders, before passing back to Joseph who dotted down. Shingler added the conversion to level things up.
Jack Moates was playing very well at scrum half, choosing wisely when to snipe and when to play tight and wide. Steven Shingler kicked a penalty on the stroke of half time to give Irish a 10-7 lead at the break.
Irish started the second half in the ascendancy and were playing with plenty of width. The outside backs in particular were impressing with their intricate hands when offloading the ball.
Reward for their efforts came on 57 minutes when Marland Yarde, who looked dangerous in attack all afternoon, scampered over for a try. Shingler added the conversion to give his side a 10 point lead.
Irish held firm from a late Bordeaux onslaught to claim the win. The Exiles welcome Worcester Warriors to Madejski Stadium next weekend for Round three of the LV=Cup.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 7-7, 10-7, 17-7,
Scorers: Bordeaux: Tries: Larrieu (11); Conversions: Sanchez; London Irish: Joseph (29), Yarde (57); Conversions: Shingler (2); Penalties: Shingler (39)
15. Jonathan Joseph; 14. Topsy Ojo (rep: Conor Gaston, 78); 13. Guy Armitage; 12. Steven Shingler; 11. Marland Yarde (rep: Anthony Watson, 77); 10. Shane Geraghty (Captain); 9. Jack Moates; 1. Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 2. Brian Blaney (rep: Richard Palframan, 64); 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. George Skivington (rep: James Sandford, 77); 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Kieran low; 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Alex Gray
Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Max Lahiff; 18.Richard Palframan; 19. James Sandford; 20. Declan Danaher; 21. Conor Gaston; 22. Anthony Watson; 23. Darren Allinson
15. Félix Le Bourhis (rep: Karolis Navickas, 61) ; 14. Rafael Carballo; 13. Charles Brousse; 12. Michel Denetre; 11. Thierry Brana; 10. Nicolas Sanchez; 9. Baptiste Serin (rep: Julien Seron, 62); 1. Jefferson Poirot (rep: Franck Labbe, 51) ; 2. Hikairo Forbes (rep:Fabien Rofes, 51); 3. Nicolas Descamps (rep: Tamato Leupolu, 51); 4. Andrew Chauveau; 5. François Tisseau; 6. Gauthier Gibouin; 7. Hugh Chalmers (rep: Louis Madaule, 72); 8. Damien Larrieu
Replacements: 16. Fabien Rofes; 17. Franck Labbe; 18.Tamato Leupolu; 19. Yassin Boutemane; 20. Louis Madaule; 21. Camille Lopez; 22. Julien Seron; 23. Karolis Navickas
Referee: David Wilkinson