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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sun 13 Apr 2014
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce
TV Match Official: Keith Lewis
Assistant Referee: Simon McDowell
Assistant Referee: Paul Burton
Andrew Fenby scored a hatrick inside 37 minutes to set Irish on their way but it was a win created by excellent intensity and desire from 1-15. The platform was created by the forward pack and the direction from Geraghty and O'Leary were the foundations on what the sterling first half was built on.
Irish made the perfect start to this crucial encounter, opening the scoring with a try on four minutes. The hosts took advantage of the early possession to put themselves in a great attacking position inside the Falcons 22. They were awarded a penalty in the corner which Shane Geraghty opted to kick to the corner. The Exiles won the line-out and drove towards the visitors line. Inches short, Andrew Fenby came off his wing and picked the ball up from the base of the ruck and was forced over by his Irish team mates. James O'Connor added the extras to give Irish a tremendous start.
The Exiles made a hash of the resulting re-start to give away a penalty and allow Rory Clegg the chance to reduce the arrears to four points which he duly accepted.
Brian Smith's side responded immediately and were awarded for their line speed in defence. Newcastle won the ball in the air and when the ball was passed back to Rory Clegg his kick was charged down by Tomas O'Leary and fell nicely into the hands of Fergus
Mulchrone who dived over for the Exiles second score. O'Connor again converted to stretch his side further ahead at 14-3.
Newcastle remained in the game through the boot of Clegg who added two further penalty goals after Irish gave away a string of penalties in their own half.
Andrew Fenby was as enthusiastic as ever coming off his wing and getting his hands on the ball. After the forwards had again done brilliantly to create good front foot ball for the backs to play off, Geraghty orchestrated a well engineered move that allowed Fenby to go on an arching run and beat his man to bag his second score. the try made it 19-6, before Clegg kicked his third penalty goal to make it 19-9.
Unbelievably Irish were now chasing a bonus point and more than three quarters of the match remained.
Rory Clegg added his fourth penalty to bring his side within seven points before nine minutes of phenomenal rugby just before half time took the game away from the visitors.
Eamonn Sheridan was the man who came up with the bonus point try using his considerable frame to power his way over from a metre out with 34 minutes on the clock.
Three minutes later Andrew Fenby was celebrating his hatrick and he had Blair Cowan to thank. The Scottish flanker ripped the ball out of the hands of Warren Fury and passed inside to Andrew Fenby who scampered in from 40 metres. The fifth Irish try made it 33-12 with three minutes remaining until half time.
Just before the break Fergus Mulchrone kicked the ball towards the Falcons try line for Topsy Ojo to chase. The Club's all time top try scorer wasn't able to get the ball first, bit he was able show great defence in dragging the Falcon winger back over his own try line.
11 seconds remained so there was time for a five metre scrum. Ofisa Treviranus and Leo Halavatau made initial darts for the line and when they were stopped Gerard Ellis forced his way over for his first try for the Club. O'Connor's conversion made it London Irish 40 Newcastle Falcons 12 at half time.
The third quarter of the game lacked the pace and intensity the first two quarters had. Newcastle made plenty of changes and managed to disrupt Irish and slow them down at the break down, eliminating their quick ball. Jamie Helleur had the best try scoring opportunity but he knocked the ball on just shy of the try line.
Neither side troubled the scoreboard in the second half and the result at the final whistle was London Irish 40 Newcastle Falcons 12.
The Exiles Director of Rugby praised his side's performance and was delighted with the second half defensive effort in not conceding a try.
Irish travel to Northampton Saints next Sunday for round 20 of Aviva Premiership rugby.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 7-0, 7-3, 14-3, 14-6, 19-6, 19-9, 19-12, 26-12, 33-12, 40-12
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Fenby (4, 15, 37), Mulchrone (8), Sheridan (34), Ellis (40); Conversions: O'Connor (5); Newcastle Falcons: Penalties: Clegg (6, 12, 19, 31)
15. James O’Connor (rep: Myles Dorrian, 68); 14. Topsy Ojo (rep: Alex Lewington, 63); 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Andrew Fenby ; 10. Shane Geraghty; 9. Tomás O’Leary (rep: Darren Allinson, 49); 1. Matt Parr(rep: John Yapp, 49); 2. Mike Mayhew (rep: Jimmy Stevens, 49); 3. Leo Halavatau, rep: Jamie Hagan, 49); 4. George Skivington (Captain); 5. Nic Rouse; 6. Blair Cowan; 7. Gerard Ellis (rep: Bryn Evans, 63, rep: Ian Gough, 75); 8. Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17. John Yapp; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Ian Gough; 20. Bryn Evans; 21. Alex Lewington; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Darren Allinson
15 Noah Cato, 14 Ryan Shortland, 13 Jamie Helleur (rep: James Fitzpatrick, 60), 12 Lee Smith, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Rory Clegg (rep: Joel Hodgson, 40), 9 Warren Fury (rep: Mike Blair, 47), 1 Grant Shiells (rep: Gary Strain, 68), 2 Matt Thompson (rep: George McGuigan, 40), 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk (rep: Scott Wilson, 40), 4 Scott MacLeod, 5 Fraser McKenzie (rep: Dom Barrow, 47), 6 Will Welch (c), 7 Andy Saull (rep: richard Mayhew, 47), 8 Mark Wilson
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 James Fitzpatrick
Referee: Luke Pearce