Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: London Irish 20 Newcastle Falcons 15

London Irish head coach Tom Coventry admits his side were nearly the architects of their own downfall after they picked up the second Aviva Premiership Rugby win of his tenure at the expense of Newcastle Falcons.

It could go down as a pivotal win for Exiles as they leapfrogged Newcastle into 11th place, though it got too close for comfort in the end.

Shane Geraghty’s second-half introduction provided a spark as he provided assists for Alex Lewington – straight from the restart – and Topsy Ojo within the space of five minutes.

Allied to two Chris Noakes penalties, those efforts put the Exiles 20-0 up, but Nili Latu and Marcus Watson crossed in response as Falcons fought back to within five points.

Newcastle battered the door down before Irish turned the ball over in the last play of the game, and Coventry says the performance underlines why his team remain a work in progress – despite moving off the foot of Aviva Premiership Rugby. 

“There’s a lot of relief in the changing room,” said Coventry.  “But if you had told me on Monday that we were going to win, I would have been pretty happy. What’s disappointing is that we had such a nice lead and we weren’t able to manage our way through it. I suppose that’s a sign of where we’re at as a team.

“We don’t win a lot, and then when you get a nice buffer, being able to control yourself till the finish line would have been nice.

“We made it, through our own fault again, a battle and it was hard work to finish the game. It was pretty difficult to watch, I was squirming up there in my seat waiting for the final whistle to go.”

Andy Goode, who signed a short-term contract for Newcastle last month, bagged a conversion and a penalty, becoming the fourth player to score points in Aviva Premiership Rugby for five different clubs.

However, the result is all the more disappointing for bottom-place Falcons after their superb victory over Bath Rugby last week – though director of rugby Dean Richards pointed to a lengthy injury list.

“I feel sorry for (backs coach) Dave Walder in many ways,” he said. “You look at the guys who are injured, our backs are firing but we’re not firing as well as they could do,

"“We’re probably lacking that little bit of X Factor which you get with guys like (Alesana) Tuilagi, Sinoti Sinoti,

"Mike Delany, (Gonzalo) Tiesi, (Sonatane) Takulua and (Ruki) Tipuna. So we’ve got a full international backline which is out at this moment in time and even though we scored twice and created four more opportunities, we’re still not scoring and converting as many as we want to

“London Irish didn’t look like scoring (a try) other than on those two occasions and that was the disappointing thing.”

London Irish: Ojo, Lewington, Hearn, Williams (Mulchrone, 66), Tikoirotuma, Noakes (Geraghty, 40), McKibbin; Court (Smallbone, 69), Paice (Cruse, 71), Franks, Symons, Lloyd (Trayfoot, 77), Sinclair, Narraway, Treviranus (Cowan, 66).
Not used: Aulika, Allinson.
 
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley, Tait, Harris, Pablo Socino, Watson, Willis (Goode, 56), Young; Vickers, Lawson (McGuigan, 47), Ryan (Vea, 47), Wilson, Robinson, Welch, Latu (Clever, 66), Hogg
Not used: Rogers, Botha, Booth, Agulla.
  
London Irish
 
Tries: Lewington, Ojo
Conversions: Geraghty 2
Penalties: Noakes 2
 
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Latu, Watson
Conversion: Goode
Penalties: Goode
 
Referee: JP Doyle
Attendance: 5, 558

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.
 

Latest News

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…

Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship…

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars see home nations complete clean sweep

It’s been a busy weekend of international rugby and there were plenty of stand-out performances from a whole host of…

Supreme England secure series win in Argentina

Will Collier scored the winning try as England secured a hard-fought 2-0 series win against Argentina in another enthralling Test match.…

England name team for World Rugby U20 Championship final

England have named their team for the World Rugby U20 Championship final against New Zealand on Sunday (kick-off 3pm BST,…