MATCH REPORT: London Irish 52-20 Nottingham Rugby

8 September 2018

London Irish made it two wins out of two in the Greene King IPA Championship, the Exiles recording a 52-20 bonus-point victory over Nottingham Rugby at the  Madejski  Stadium.   

Italian  international Luke McLean waded in with two tries, while Ben Meehan, Bryce Campbell, Dave  Porecki , Josh McNally, Patric  Cilliers  and Blair Cowan all got in on the act. Man-of-the-match  Stephen Myler kicked all six of his conversions too, the Premiership-winning fly-half underlining his expertise with the boot.   

It took the Exiles 13 minutes to register the first score, Meehan snipping his way to the line after excellent build-up play from the pack, who were a dominant force throughout the contest. Myler picked up from where he left off at  Ealing  last week, slotting home the extras to make it 7-0. 

Reaction - Stephen Myler

   

Not deterred by the early setback, Nottingham responded in positive fashion and were immediately into Irish’s 22 following a series of industrious carries. And they got reward for their  endeavor , Shane O’Leary kicking a penalty to reduce the arrears to 7-3 after  Porecki  was  penalised  for a high shot on his opposite number.   

Four minutes later, USA international  centre  Campbell doubled the Exiles’ tally for the day after Meehan and  Topsy  Ojo combined superbly on the nearside. Myler, again converted wide right to extend his side’s lead to 14-3.   

The Lady Bay outfit hit back on 34 minutes, Billy Robinson finishing off a  defence -splitting move to touchdown, despite the best efforts of a scrambling Irish rearguard.   

Back came the hosts however, and  Porecki  and McNally sealed the try bonus-point just before the break to give Nottingham much to ponder during the interval. First  Porecki  crashed over on the back of excellent attack play from the impressive Tom Parton, while McNally added further gloss to the  scoreline on the stroke of half-time. 

Reaction - George Skivington

                                   

Declan Kidney’s men came out for the second period all guns blazing, former Green and Whites man  Cilliers  crossing from a driving lineout with just 42 minutes on the clock. Myler’s conversion from an acute angle made it 35-8 and with the hour mark looming McLean went over for the first of his two scores.   

42-8 up, Irish’s dominance at the scrum came to the fore again on 63 minutes when Cowan crossed the line. Meehan took charge of the kicking in the absence of the departed Myler, but he was unable to kick the two points and it remained 47-8.   

Nottingham to their credit never gave up the ghost, scintillating attack play from winger David Williams turning  defence  into attack from his own try  line . Three phases later Williams squeezed in at the corner for a richly deserved score and O’Leary nailed the conversion to cut the gap to 47-15.

Reaction - Josh McNally

 

On 72 minutes McLean etched himself a double on the score sheet, Brendan  McKibbin  taking the  blindside option to feed the Azzurri winger. Alex Goble crossed the line in the dying embers of the game, but the day belonged to Irish who now prepare for the visit of Bedford Blues on Sunday 23 September.        

SCORERS  

LONDON IRISH  

Tries: Meehan (13), Campbell (26),  Porecki  (35), McNally (40),  Cilliers  (42), McLean (57), Cowan (64), McLean (72)    

Cons: Myler (14), (27), (38), (40), (43), (58)

Pens:       

NOTTINGHAM RUGBY  

Tries: Robinson (34), Williams (68), Goble (78)   

Cons: O’Leary (69)   

Pens: O’Leary (22)    

London Irish: Parton, Ojo, Stephenson (Hearn, 58), Campbell, McLean, Myler ( McKibbin , 63), Meehan, Reid ( Elrington , 55),  Porecki  ( Fainga’a , 55) Cilliers  (Du Plessis, 58) , Maddison, Paulo (Cowan, 48), McNally (c), Ioane, Rogerson (Schatz, 55)  

Nottingham Rugby: Scanlon, Williams, Millett (Goble, 68), Peters, Robinson, O’Leary,  Veenendahl  © (McConnell, 55),  Sio  (Jack, 68) , Brownlie (Cole, 48), Heffernan (Burke, 48), Davies-Moore (Cox, 48), Cecil, Buckley, Owen (Farnworth, 73), Poullet

                

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