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RC I Cavalieri Prato
Fixture Type: Amlin Challenge Cup
Match Date: Sat 18 Jan 2014
Kick Off: 14:30
Venue: Stadio Enrico Chersoni
Referee: Cedric Marchat
Assistant Referee: Thomas Charabas
Assistant Referee: Thomas Dejean
Irish scored four first half tries to secure the bonus point before the break and added three second half scores to record a 49-0 victory.
Matt Parr, Declan Danaher, Andrew Fenby, Eamonn sheridan, Alex Lewington and a brace from Blair Cowan saw Irish deliver an unstoppable performance against a side that ran Stade Francais close on two occasions.
Ina match played in wet, cold and muddy conditions it was Irish made the perfect start to the match by spoiling the hosts ball from the kick-off. Once ball was turned over the Irish half backs orchestrated play well, using their forwards to optimum effect. Andrew Fenby made the initial break before passing to Alex Lewington who was dragged down metres short of the line. From the resulting breakdown the ball was spun to Shane Geraghty who made a half break before offloading to Matt parr who powered his way over the line. Geraghty, captain for the afternoon, added the extras to give his side the best possible start.
The hosts came back into the game and were being rewarded at line out time for their driving maul. They opted to kick the ball to the corner twice but were denied by the Irish forwards who fronted up all afternoon. They were especially solid at scrum time with conditions tough under foot.
Irish enjoyed three perfect minutes as they ended the first quarter and started the second. Firstly Declan Danaher dived over for his second try in two weeks with an opportunistic finish after the backs had created the space, Andrew Fenby chipped and chased for the line. The I cavalieri Prato full back mishandled the ball and Danaher was on hand to take full advantage. Geraghty added the conversion to make it 14-0.
They had their third try three minutes later with almost the perfect passage of play. The ball was caught from the re-start and carried up well. Geraghty then saw the space and kicked long into the Prato 22. The fly half had a sterling game with the boot in what were tricky conditions. Marco Ferrini was forced to hurry his kick and booted the ball straight into the air and in to the hands of Guy Armitage. The ball was recycled and O'Leary opted for the short side where Fenby showed and goed and coasted past the attempted tackles to score under the posts. Geraghty kicked his third to make it 21 - 0.
The Exiles continued to pressure the hosts and enjoyed great territory in their final third. after defiant Italian defence the bonus point try did eventually come with Blair Cowan taking a short pass off Tomås O'Leary to great applause from the large contingent of travelling Irish supporters. Geraghty completed a good first half's work by adding the extras. Irish led 28-0 at the break.
Irish rung the changes after the interval but it didn't slow down their momentum. The pack continued their solid display and once they were awarded a line out five metres out; a well constructed driving maul saw Blair Cowan go over for his second. Myles Dorrian kept up the impeccable kicking record with a well struck conversion.
The forward battle took control of the contest with both sets of backs limited of any possession. Once the Irish forwards had laid the platform, Myles Dorrian turned his opposite man inside out before popping the ball up to Eamonn Sheridan who bagged his first try of the afternoon. Dorrian's conversion kept the perfect record in tact.
With two minutes left Alex Lewington put the icing on the cake when he caught a well executed cross field kick from Myles Dorrian to score the seventh and final try. Dorrian kicked the tricky conversion to make the final score London Irish 49 I Cavalieri Prato O. Brian Smith said he wanted his side to finish this tournament off in style and his side certainly delivered that.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 7-0, 14-0, 21-0, 28-0, 35-0, 42-0, 49-0
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Parr (2), Danaher (18), Fenby (21), Cowan (38, 44), Sheridan (60), Lewington (78); Conversions: Geraghty (4), Dorrian (3)
15. Tom Homer (rep: Topsy Ojo, 50); 14. Alex Lewington; 13. Guy Armitage; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Andrew Fenby; 10. Shane Geraghty (Captain) (rep: Myles Dorrian, 40); 9. Tomås O'Leary (rep: Ed Hoadley, 40); 1. Matt Parr (rep: Johnny Harris, 40); 2. Jimmy Stevens (rep: Mike Mayhew, 40); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Jamie Hagan, 40); 4. Bryn Evans; 5. Nic Rouse (rep: Tom Smallbone, 72); 6. Declan Danaher; 7. Kieran Low; 8. Blair Cowan (rep: Jebb Sinclair, 50)
Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. Johnny Harris; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Jebb Sinclair; 20. Tom Smallbone; 21. Topsy Ojo; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Ed Hoadley
I Cavalieri Prato
15. Marco Ferrini; 14. Niccolo Tempestini; 13. Clems Von Brumbkov; 12. Ivan Crestini; 11. Alessandro Lunardi; 10. Toby Browne; 9. Pino Patelli (Captain); 1. Cherif Traore; 2. Lorenzo Giovanchelli; 3. Victor Coria Marchetti; 4. Ale Devodier ; 5. Filippo Gerosa; 6. Alfonso Damiani; 7. Alberto Saccardo; 8. Gabrielle Cicchinelli
Replacements: 16. Andrea Lupetti; 17. Nicolas De Gregori; 18. Otis Lombardi; 19. Diego Delnevo; 20. Leonardo Della Ratta; 21. Jacopo Zucconi; 22. Giacomo Bernini; 23. Rudy Biancotti
Referee: Cederic Marchat