Planet Rugby

Best win of the season - Smith

08th February 2014 20:42


brian smith london irish

Brian Smith: Hailed his side's execution

London Irish boss Brian Smith hailed his side's best win of the season after they became the first team to win at the Allianz Park.

Their 22-13 victory over Saracens was a special one as they had two men in the sin bin in the first half but still led 22-8 at half-time after tries from

George Skivington, Alex Lewington and Matt Parr.

Sarries hled an early lead after a Marcelo Bosch five-pointer and although Schalk Brits dotted down five minutes before the end the Exiles held on to secure a famous victory.

And Smith believes the win was his side's best of the 2013/14 campaign.

"It's the best win of the season," he said.

"Sarries are a quality outfit - their line speed, defence and heat they put on the ball in every tackle situation - and they are a champion team at the top of their game.

"We came into the game with a very simple plan but we had to execute it. We knew if we were to have a chance today we would have to out work them and because they're a massive work-rate team.

"We deserved the win but that five-minute patch where we scored those two tries swung the whole contest in our favour as until then everything had been going to script for them by going into the wind first half."

Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall admitted his side failed to capitalise when Irish received their two yellow cards in the first half.

"The result is disappointing," he said.

"With five minutes to go till half-time it was 10-8 and we were going to have the wind in the second half and I think we would have taken that.

"But then we lost 12 points in the last three minutes before half-time and that gave us a mountain to climb.

"We dominated the first 20 to 25 minutes of the game. We had a lot of line-outs and scrums five metres from their line.

"The referee gave a couple of yellow cards in that period. Clearly you want to come away with some points like we have done all season but we couldn't do it."

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