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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 14 Sep 2013
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Sixways Stadium
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
TV Match Official: Rowan Kitt
Assistant Referee: Roy Maybank
Assistant Referee: Andrew Pearce
Marland Yarde scored a brace of tries with Ian Humphreys kicking 10 points, including a match winning penalty three minutes from time, to confirm the victory.
The first half saw plenty of niggle but also plenty of attacking endeavour from both sides as they looked to play with every opportunity.
The hosts took the lead on five minutes with an Ignacio Mieres penalty after Irish conceded a penalty just outside their 22.
Ian Humphreys levelled the scores on 14 minutes with a well struck penalty goal from 45 metres. Irish earned the penalty through some get phase play and putting Worcester under plenty of pressure.
Paul Hodgson, The Exiles former scrum half, was being as energetic as he always is and thwarted Irish attacking opportunities on more than one occasion.
Worcester scored the opening try of the match on 17 minutes and it was a well worked score. Ed Shervington hit his lineout jumper and the Worcester pack sucked the Irish forwards in. Hodgson passed to Mieres who sent a wide pass to full back Chris Pennell who broke the first tackle and offloaded to David Lemi who dotted down in the corner.
Things got worse for Irish shortly after the Worcester try as they were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. The Exiles showed great commitment and tenacity in defence to ensure they survived the sin bin period without conceding a point.
Irish levelled the score once again three minutes before half time. Ian Humphreys was involved twice in the lead up. He sent a wide pass to Andrew fenby from inside his own 22 and the former Scarlet took play up to the 10 metre line. From the resulting ruck Humphreys passed to Eamonn Sheridan who offloaded out of the tackle to David Paice who passed to Marland Yarde in a strong position. The winger had plenty to do but made it look effortless as he glided past two defenders and finished well. Humphreys converted to ensure the teams went in even at the break.
Irish started the second half with great intensity. Humphreys was marshalling well and putting the ball in the right areas allowing Irish plenty of field position.
Marland Yarde crossed for his second try eight minutes after the re-start. Chris Hala’ufia carried the ball strongly, taking two defenders with him. The ball was recycled with Eamonn Sherdian offloading the ball out of the tackle to Topsy Ojo who sprung clear. Ojo drew his defender and passed to Yarde who had a one on one with Chris Pennell. The England International went round the full back with ease to score in the corner. Humphreys conversion put seven points between the teams.
The final half an hour belonged to Worcester. Mieres kicked his second penalty and scored a try with 10 minutes to go to put the hosts’ one point in front. Irish worked their way back into Worcester territory and when referee, Richard Wigglesworth, put his hand out for a penalty advantage it gave Humphreys a chance to put Irish back in front. He duly did to make it a nerve racking finish.
Irish showed great determination and commitment in the end to record the victory and give them their first four points of the season.
The Exiles face Exeter Chiefs at Reading next week in round three of the Aviva Premiership.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-3, 3-3, 3-10, 10-10, 17-10, 17-13, 17-18, 20-18
Scorers: Worcester: Penalties: Mieres (5, 60); Tries: Lemi (17), Mieres (70); Conversions: Mieres; London Irish: Humphreys (14, 77); Tries: Yarde (36, 48); Conversions: Humphreys (2)
15. Chris Pennell; 14. Josh Drauniniu; 13. Ravai Fatiaki; 12. Josh Matavesi; 11. David Lemi; 10. Ignacio Mieres (rep: Danny Gray, 71); 9. Paul Hodgson (rep: Jeremy Su’a, 49); 1. Paul Andrew;2. Ed Shervington; 3. Euan Murray (rep: John Andress, 52); 4. Mike Williams; 5. Chris Jones (rep: Dean Schofield, 52); 6. Jonathan Thomas (Captain); 7. Sam Betty; 8. Semisi Taulava
Replacements: 16. Nick Seymour; 17. Ofa Fainga'anuku; 18. John Andress; 19. Dean Schofield; 20. Jake Abbott; 21. Jeremy Su'a; 22. Danny Gray; 23. Jon Clarke
15. Topsy Ojo; 14. Marland Yarde; 13. Guy Armitage; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Andrew Fenby; 10. Ian Humphreys (rep: Shane Geraghty, 79); 9. Tomás O’Leary (Captain); 1. Matt Parr (rep: John Yapp, 60); 2. David Paice (rep: Jimmy Stevens, 79); 3. Halani Aulika (rep: Leo Halavatau, 66); 4. Nic Rouse (rep: Bryn Evans, 62); 5. Jebb Sinclair; 6. Jon Fisher; 7. Ofisa Treviranus; 8. Chris Hala’ufia (rep: Declan Danaher, 56)
Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17 John Yapp; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19.Bryn Evans; 20. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 21. Declan Danaher; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Darren Allinson
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth