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.
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)
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