Planet Rugby

Exiles lay waste to Leeds

04th May 2008 17:07

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Seilala Mapusua

Green Giant: Seilala Mapusua attempts to get past John Holtby

London Irish exocised their European demons by notching up an impressive seven-try 43-20 victory over striken Leeds Carnegie at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

But the Exiles looked to be suffering a hangover from last week's defeat by French giants Toulouse when they fell behind after only six minutes.

Poor defensive play enabled Leeds left wing Tom Biggs to side step his way through the Irish line and run clear to touch down behind the post and leave full back Leigh Hinton an easy conversion.

But the home side, despite lacking several regulars through injury, hit back to add to the misery of a Leeds side already confined to relegation to National Division One.

Heavyweight prop forward Faan Rautenbach, full back Topsy Ojo, flanker Declan Danaher, right-wing Tomas De Vedia, scrum half Paul Hodgson, a penalty try and replacement fly-half Shane Geraghty accounted for the seven Irish tries.

Fly-half Eoghan Hickey landed two of his four conversion attempts with replacement full back Peter Hewat kicking two out of three.

Leeds stayed in touch until well into the second half with penalties by Hinton and replacement Adam Greendale, plus their second try, scored by flanker Hendre Fourie, converted by Greendale.

Irish cancelled out the early Leeds advantage in the 13th minute when Rautenbach finished off a move begun by Ojo and Sailosi Tagicakibau, powering his way in from close range.

The Yorkshire side managed to cross the home line for a second time in the 21st minute but number eight Adam Balding was prevented from grounding the ball by weight of numbers.

Brought back for an earlier offence, Leeds had the consolation of a penalty attempt but Hinton was off target.

When Leeds were caught offside in front of their own post, Irish, with their sights set on a much-needed bonus point opted for a scrum instead of a penalty kick.

The strategy paid off and, following two forward drives, Hodgson whipped out a long pass to put Ojo over in the corner.

Leeds were reduced to 14 men, temporarily, when Fourie was yellow-carded for pulling down a maul.

Irish capitalised straight away with Hodgson's short pass enabling Danaher to force his way over in the left corner to send his side in with a 17-10 interval lead.

Irish secured the bonus point with their fourth try in the 53rd minute when Peter Richards exploited the disorganised Leeds defence to kick ahead and collect before providing the final pass for De Vedia to touch down.

Another fine run by the lively Biggs provided the second Leeds try for Fourie but there was no stopping Irish.

They struck three more times with Hodgson squeezing over from close range, referee Sean Davey awarding a penalty try when Richards was blatantly obstructed by Andy Tuilagi as he gave his own kick and Geraghty adding the magnificent seventh with a solo effort.

The scorers:

For London Irish:

Tries: Rautembach, Ojo, Danaher, De Vedia, Hodgson, Penalty Try, Geraghty

Cons: Hickey 2, Hewat 2

For Leeds Carnegie:

Tries: Biggs, Fourie

Cons: Hinton, Greendale

Pens: Hinton, Greendale

Tthe teams:

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Tomas De Vedia, 13 Peter Richards, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Eoghan Hickey, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 James Hudson, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.

Replacements: 16 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 17 Stuart Mackie, 18 Gary Johnson, 19 Phil Murphy, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Peter Hewat, 22 Shane Geraghty.

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 John Holtby, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 James Brooks, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Tommy McGee, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Adam Hopcroft, 17 James Parkes, 18 Erik Lund, 19 Danny Paul, 20 Darren Edwards, 21 Adam Greendale, 22 Scott Armstrong.

Referee: Sean Davey

Touch judges: Bob Mullis, David Kurk

Assessor: Paul Bridgman

Television match official: Brian Abrahams

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