Irish climb off bottom spot

Date published: February 7 2016

London Irish lifted themselves off the bottom of the Premiership with a 20-13 victory over fellow strugglers Worcester on Sunday.

The first half was a good spectacle in excellent conditions for running rugby at the Madejski Stadium.

The highlight was a spectacular solo effort from Ciaran Hearn who chipped the ball up in the air before catching it and crossing under the posts for a magnificent try.

The second half was more open with a try from Andrew Fenby for Irish book-ended by tries for Worcester by Bryce Heem and Val Rapava Ruskin.

Discipline was a problem for both sides in the second half as Donnacha O'Callaghan and David Paice were both yellow carded.

During the latter's period on the side-line the Warriors threatened to nick victory from the Exiles but the hosts held out to lift themselves from the base of the Premiership for the first time this season.

The defeat sees Worcester in a precarious position; one point above Irish and Newcastle Falcons, who fall to the bottom of the table.

The hosts scored the first try after a piece of individual brilliance from Hearn seizing upon his own chip to cross under the posts.

Shane Geraghty scored the conversion to put the Exiles into a seven-point lead.

Ryan Mills got the Warriors' first score of the match in the 23rd minute by scoring a penalty. In the 32nd minute the visitors' Bryce Heem was sent to the sin-bin with Geraghty slotting home the resultant penalty for Irish establishing a 10-3 lead.

Heem returned from the bin after the break and after multiple phases crossed in the corner for Worcester's first try. Andy Symons' conversion attempt fell just short to keep his side behind.

In the 50th minute the visitors had another player in the sin-bin as Donnacha O'Callaghan was yellow carded. The hosts capitalised four minutes later as Andrew Fenby touched down under the posts before Geraghty converted to stretch the lead to nine points.

The Exiles' hooker David Paice was sent to the bin in the 62nd minute as the league's basement side looked to grind out victory.

Warriors capitalised on the man advantage with a try from Ruskin who crashed over from close range.

The conversion was missed by Andy Symons as the Warriors sought to come back for victory.

Irish were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute with Geraghty kicking successfully to secure victory for the Exiles with it finishing 20-13.

The scorers:

For Irish:   
Tries: Hearn, Fenby
Cons: Geraghty 2
Pens: Geraghty 2
Yellow Card: Paice

For Worcester: 
Heem, Ruskin
Pen: Mills
Yellow Cards: Heem, O'Callaghan

London Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Will Lloyd, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Johnny Williams, 23 Theo Brophy-Clews

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote 9 Luke Baldwin, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Matt Cox, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 James Johnston, 19 Dan Sanderson, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Andy Symons

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest, Ashley Rowden
TMO: David Sainsbury