Irish shock Northampton for first win

Date published: December 26 2015

Brendan McKibbin London Irish v Northampton Premiership 2015

London Irish created the biggest upset of the Premiership season so far, claiming their first win with a 25-23 triumph over Northampton at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

A late penalty try secured victory for the home side after the Saints had earlier fought back from a 15-8 half-time deficit to lead 23-18 inside the final quarter.

Irish came into this game with no points to their name, but started the game well with two first half tries from Luke Narroway and Sean Maitland. 

Chris Noakes also kicked five points for the home side. Jim Mallinder's side scored a try of their own through Ken Pisi, with Stephen Myler kicking three points. 

The second half was all Northampton. They scored two tries through George North and Kahn Fotuali'i, with Myler kicking five points. 

But, Irish snatched victory with five points from Noakes and a dramatic penalty try secured a terrific win for Tom Coventry's men. 

Despite playing a Northampton side who have only lost one of their last six games, it was Irish who opened the scoring with a try from Narraway after a driving maul. 

And it was the Premiership's bottom side who looked the better throughout the first quarter. But, the away side slowly worked their way back into the game, with a Myler penalty reducing the deficit to just two points. Unfazed by the Saints pressure, Irish re-established their five point lead with a Noakes penalty cancelling out Myler's earlier effort. 

London Irish continued to assert themselves on the game and grabbed their second try through Maitland after a beautiful pass from Noakes. 

After a fairly lacklustre half by their own standards, Northampton ended the half on a high with a try from Pisi; their first try in over four hours of game time. 

Northampton continued to pressurise after the break and score their second try of the match when North crossed the line just after half time. 

Irish kept themselves in the lead with another penalty from Noakes, but Northampton stayed within touching distance with a Myler penalty from under the posts. 

Saints finally took the lead with their third try from scrum-half Fotuali'i who powered his way over the whitewash after a period of pressure from Northampton. 

The situation got worse for Irish when Aseli Tikoirotuma was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle on Ben Foden. 

A tense final few minutes were ensured when Jamie Gibson was shown yellow for Northampton after sustained pressure from London Irish. 

The extra man was made to count when Irish were awarded a penalty try for a collapsed scrum with two minutes to go, giving them a dramatic 25-23 win.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Tries: Narraway, Maitland, Penalty try
Cons: Noakes, Geraghty
Pens: Noakes 2
Yellow card: Tikoirotuma

For Northampton:
Tries: K Pisi, North, Fotuali'i
Con: Myler
Pens: Myler 2
Yellow card: Gibson

London Irish: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Johnny Williams,  11 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Luke Narraway, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Matt Symons (c), 3 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Joe Trayfoot, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Fergus Mulchrone

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Sam Dickinson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 JJ Harrahan, 23 Tom Collins

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden, Gareth Copsey
TMO: David Sainsbury

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