8 February 2016
London Irish Assistant Coach, Clark Laidlaw, was quick to point out that ‘we are now only half way through the Aviva Premiership season’ when reflecting on yesterday’s match with Worcester.
Irish’s 20-13 victory, their third consecutive win at home in the league, was enough to move the Club off the bottom of the table.
“I think everybody forgets that we are only halfway through the season. With the late start in the year, we still have 11 Premiership games to go. We are not interested in looking at the Premiership table too much, at the end of the day we just need to try and keep winning. It’s really tight, we all know that, if you can get three or four wins in a row it makes a massive difference.”
The Exiles now sit one point behind Worcester courtesy of the Warriors losing bonus point, although Irish had chances to possibly win by more.
“It was never going to be and easy game, in a tight game like that it was unlikely that either team would really pull away. We had opportunities in the first half to get across the line but were unable to take them. From an attack perspective, that was one of the more pleasing days. It is good to get another win at home, our form of late, apart from last weekend against Sale where we were really disappointing, has been good. The last six weeks have been pretty encouraging.
Topsy Ojo, making his 250th appearance for the Club was one of a number of players that put in impressive performance. The winger was very unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet too.
“I thought it was a great try. It was a little bit harsh on Jebb, I’m not sure if he blocked the guy or not, I’ll have to have another look. It would have been a great way for Topsy to celebrate his 250th. We responded really well to the decision, it was almost a turning point in the game. We went from going 17-3 up to only two points in the game, we could have easily felt that pressure, but as I said, I thought we responded really well to that.”
The forward pack set the platform and allowed the backs the space they need to capitalise. A number of forwards were mentioned for their efforts.
“Paicey worked tirelessly today as he always does, but I thought Halani was our best player out there yesterday. He has had to step up with Ben Franks getting injured and I thought he had his best game of the season.”
Franklin’s Gardens is the next stop for Irish as they look to claim their first away win of the season in the Premiership. As Laidlaw alludes to, with the Club’s extensive injury list, the squad that played against Worcester will have to front up again this Saturday.
“They had a good win on the weekend beating Harlequins at The Stoop. We have a six day turnaround which will be tough on the body and a pretty hefty injury list. So the same guys are going to have to front up again this week. We will concentrate on getting our recovery right, getting our review right and switch our attention to Northampton.
“It is pretty exciting, I’m guessing there will be close to a full house at Franklin’s Gardens. They will be pretty fired up after getting turned over at our place so we are under no illusions it will be a tough ask.”