Planet Rugby

Irish send Brive into exile

12th December 2009 20:15

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Thorpe London Irish v Brive

Richard Thorpe scored for London Irish

London Irish ended any hopes Brive might have had of making the Heineken Cup quarter finals with a 36-3 demolition of their hosts on Saturday.

Tom Homer struck twice as London Irish boosted their qualification hopes with a crushing victory in Pool Six.

The Exiles had produced one of the shock results of the opening two rounds with a stunning win at reigning champions Leinster before stumbling at home to the Scarlets.

But Toby Booth's men got back on track with a hard-fought win in a bad-tempered contest at the Parc Municipal.

Fly-half Chris Malone was the hero with a 14-point tally which included a fourth-minute strike which rocked the home side.

Malone had been handed the number ten jersey by Head Coach Booth instead of Ryan Lamb and responded with an excellent solo score, three conversions and a penalty.

Back-row pair Steffon Armitage and Richard Thorpe claimed the visitors' other tries but tempers flared in the final quarter as Brive replacement Guillaume Ribes saw red for a punch on Danie Coetzee before the South African hooker and Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux were sin-binned for fighting.

Malone set Irish on their way to a deserved success with the pick of the tries by beating three defenders before dummying Brive full-back Horacio Agulla to touch down under the posts.

Brive fought their way back into the match with a strong spell of possession and their desire was shown in the 16th minute when Agulla squared up to Elvis Seveali'i.

But Irish put the fragile home side on the ropes with another try just a minute later.

Centre Seilala Mapusua was causing mayhem in midfield and slick hands found Nick Kennedy waiting in space.

The England lock then passed to Homer who crept home in the left corner.

Malone missed the conversion but the visitors capped off a fine opening period when Malone added a routine penalty in front of the posts just three minutes before the break.

Brive finally got on the scoreboard as Palisson hammered a long-range penalty to give them some hope on the stroke of half-time.

But the Exiles kept their foot on the accelerator after the break with three well-worked tries.

Armitage benefited from weak tackling from replacement Jean Baptiste Pejoine to score following neat work from Malone, Seveali'i and Homer.

Then, after Brive had been reduced to 14 men, Booth's side claimed the bonus point with 12 minutes remaining thanks to the out-stretched arm of Thorpe who had galloped onto Malone's pass.

But Homer had the final say with his second try in the right corner in the final minute, leaving Lamb to complete the scoring with the conversion.

The Scorers

For Brive:
Pen:Palisson

For London Irish:
Tries:
Malone, Homer 2, Armitage, Thorpe
Cons:Malone 3, Lamb
Pen:Malone

Yellow cards:Bonrepaux (Brive), Coetzee (London Irish)

Red card: Ribes (Brive)

The teams:

Brive: 15 Horacio Agulla, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Lachlan Mackay, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Fabrice Estebanez, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Antoine Claassen, 7 Fabien Domingo, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Christian Short, 3 Scott Zimmermann, 2 Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, 1 Pat Barnard.
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Davit Kinchagishvili, 18 Retief Uys, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Luciano Orquera, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Pascal Idieder.

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Tom Homer, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 John Rudd, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Richard Thorpe, 5 Bob Casey (capt), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Danie Coetzee, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Andy Perry, 20 Kieran Roche, 21 Jamie Lennard, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Alfredo Lalanne.

Venue: Stadium Municipal
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Simon McDowell (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Television match official: Tony Redmond (Ireland)

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