London Irish suffered a 35-7 loss to Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership this afternoon.
Northampton scored five tries to one on their way to a comprehensive victory. David Paice crossed three minutes before the end for the Exiles solitary score.
The opening quarter was a fairly even contest. Both sides were looking to play an open, expansive brand of rugby. Fergus Mulchrone had a couple of early touches, opting to kick the ball deep into northampton territory.
The turning point came on the 15 minute mark. Referee Tim Wigglesworth awarded the Saints a penalty on half way, Lee Dickson tapped and went quickly. Halani Aulika failed to retreat the appropriate 10 metres, tackled the Saints captain and was sent to the bin for 10 minutes.
Saints registered 14 unanswered points in the following 10 minutes to take control. James Craig was bundled over the Irish line by his forward pack, following a well executed driving maul. Four minutes later the hosts were warded a penalty try with Irish illegally dragging down their driving maul. Myler converted both to make it 14-0 after 23 minutes.
Shane Geraghty had a long shot at goal with five minutes of the half remaining, however his effort dropped short of the crossbar.
Moments later, Alex Waller completed a miserable first half for Irish with his sides third try diving in to the right of the posts. Stephen Myler kicked his third to make it 21-0 at the break.
Irish started the second half much the brighter side and had opportunities to register their first points of the afternoon. However they were foiled by the Saints and the hosts scored two quick tries to put the result beyond doubt.
Jamie Elliot, who has a habit of scoring tries against Irish, was quickest to react to a Lee Dickson chip kick and the wing touched down ahead of Shane Geraghty in the corner.
Northampton's fifth try was exceptionally worked. Tom Wood broke from the base of the ruck and sprinted clear. The ball was passed through the hands of Burrell and Gibson before Lee Dickson was able to evade the attempted tackle to score. Myler added both conversions to make it 35-0.
David Paice did ensure his side were able to cross for a try three minutes from time to make the final score 35-7.
Exeter Chiefs are the visitors to the Madejski Stadium next weekend Sunday 21st February for the Kid's Takeover Day Aviva Premiership fixture.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 0-14, 0-21, 0-28, 0-35, 7-35
Scorers: Northampton Saints: Tries: Craig (19), Penalty Try (23), A Waller (38), Elliott (47), Dickson (50); Conversions: Myler (5); London Irish: Tries: Paice (77); Conversions: Geraghty
15. Ben Foden; 14. Jamie Elliott; 13. Luther Burrell (rep George Pisi, 67); 12. Harry Mallinder; 11. James Wilson; 10. Stephen Myler (rep: JJ Hanrahan, 54); 9. Lee Dickson (Captain); 1. Alex Waller (rep: Ethan Waller, 56); 2. Mikey Haywood (rep: Reece Marshall, 56); 3. Kieran Brookes (rep: Gareth Denman, 60); 4. James Craig; 5. Christian Day (rep: Victor Matfield, 60); 6. Jamie Gibson; 7. Tom Wood; 8. Sam Dickinson (rep: Teimana Harrison, 51)
Replacements: 16. Reece Marshall; 17. Ethan Waller; 18. Gareth Denman; 19. Victor Matfield; 20. Teimana Harrison; 21. Tom Kessell; 22. JJ Hanrahan; 23. George Pisi
15. Andrew Fenby; 14. Topsy Ojo (rep: Theo Brophy Clews, 53); 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Johnny Williams (rep: Dom Waldouck, 61); 11. Ciaran Hearn; 10. Shane Geraghty; 9. Scott Steele (rep: Darren Allinson, 40); 1. Tom Court (rep: Tom Smallbone, 49); 2. David Paice (rep: Gerard Ellis, 49); 3. Halani Aulika (rep: Leo Halavatau, 62); 4. Matt Symons; 5. Will Lloyd (rep: Ian Nagle, 59); 6. Jebb Sinclair; 7.Luke Narraway; 8. Rob McCusker (rep: Ofisa Treviranus, 72)
Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Tom Smallbone; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. Ian Nagle; 20. Ofisa Treviranus; 21. Darren Allinson; 22. Theo Brophy-Clews; 23. Dom Waldouck
Referee: Richard Wigglesworth
Attendance: 15, 227