London Irish eased their Premiership relegation concerns somewhat on Saturday with a 26-6 victory over Worcester Warriors.
London Irish eased their Premiership relegation concerns somewhat on Saturday with a crucial 26-6 victory over Worcester at Madejski Stadium.
Two first-half tries laid the foundations for London Irish, who emerged as comfortable victors.
The Exiles were searching for a response following a heavy defeat in the Premiership to Northampton, while Worcester were looking to string victories together following their win over Wasps.
The game's first try came just eight minutes in when Matt Garvey crashed over following great work from the forwards 20 metres from the Worcester try-line.
The conversion was missed but it took just 12 minutes for the hosts to add to their lead, as more dominant play from the home pack laid the foundations for Halani Aulika to score.
Again, the conversion was missed, before Alex Goode's penalty for the visitors not only got them off the mark but also put them to within a converted try.
Two Tom Homer penalties in the minutes that followed increased the deficit to 13, and, though Goode added a second penalty minutes before half-time, the Exiles were in a comfortable position with a 16-6 interval lead.
The hosts made the perfect start to the second half through a third try, scored by Chris Hala'ufia, and Homer's first successful conversion of the afternoon left Worcester with a great deal to do.
Homer then added his third penalty of the afternoon on 48 minutes to make it 26-6 but, though the Exiles appeared capable of racking up a big score, the Worcester defence was able to stem the tide – even if they were unable to find a way back into the contest with the ball in hand in the final 30 minutes.
For London Irish:
Tries: Garvey, 'Aulika, Hala'ufia
Pens: Homer 3
Pens: Goode 2
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jamie Gibson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Jack Moates.
Worcester Warriors:15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Jon Clarke, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 James Percival (c), 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Josh Matavesi.
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Peter Huckle