TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: London Irish 23 Bath Rugby 33

If winning despite not playing your best is a sign of champions then Bath Rugby must be taken seriously as Aviva Premiership Rugby title contenders after coach Toby Booth admitted his side were well below-par in their victory over London Irish.

Henry Thomas and Chris Cook scored breakaway tries in the 33-23 triumph to move the West Country side up to second in the table.   

England international prop Thomas burst through the defence and held off a number of would-be tacklers early in the second half for a memorable try at the Madejski Stadium.

And scrum-half Cook grabbed himself a similar score around 20 minutes later as he evaded two defenders to dot down and put the game beyond doubt.

The platform for victory was established at the scrum though as Bath dominated throughout and were in fact awarded a first-half penalty try when Irish were pinged at the set-piece.

That meant the scoreline read 16-6 at half-time and Booth, whose side saw off Newcastle Falcons last weekend, claims that while the autumn internationals are taking place, the important thing is to get points on the board – in any way possible.

“We didn’t play at our best but all that matters is the score and we’re delighted with the result – it was great backing up last week’s win at home,” he said.

“These international breaks are always fraught with danger as everyone knows with the disruption caused but we’ve got past two stiff tests

“We had to overcome a few challenges, tactically we were working out things on the pitch but you’ve got to give credit to London Irish, they needed a response after last week and were emotionally charged.

“It was a very stop, start game, we couldn’t build any continued pressure but there are games like that and we were mentally tough and that’s pleasing. We’ve got the win and need to take that momentum forward.”

Despite second-half tries from David Paice and James Short, Bath were always largely in control of proceedings.

The Exiles now sit in 11th position in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with only winless London Welsh below them.

They host Gloucester Rugby next weekend and director of rugby Brian Smith admits he is desperate for his side to get back to winning ways.

And despite club captain George Skivington missing the game due to a late injury, Smith refused to make excuses for his troops’ display.

“The effort was there but our precision wasn’t great and we created some pressure situations for ourselves and they were punished on the scoreboard,” he said. 

“We had some distractions before the game with our skipper dropping out but I thought we managed that quite well and played some good rugby at times.

“We just conceded too many soft points and didn’t maintain the concentration levels needed for the full 80 minutes.

“It’s not about making excuses but putting things in perspective and we’ve got next weekend against Gloucester to put things right.”

This Christmas, Premiership Rugby is offering fans a special gift with selected tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click here to find out about this limited offer.

London Irish: Fenby; Lewington, Mulchrone, Geraghty, Ojo; Noakes, Steele (Short 68); Court (Parr 64), Paice, Aulika (Halavatau 58), Lyons, Cox, Narraway, Gilsenan, Guest (Allinson 56).
Replacements not used: Stevens, Vukasinovic, Curry, Griffin
 
Bath Rugby: Arscott (Devoto 56); Rokoduguni, Joseph, Eastmond, Banahan (Woodburn 74); Henson, Young (Cook 54); Catt (Auterac 33), Batty (Dunn 62), Thomas (Palma-Newport 68), Hooper, Day, Garvey (Ewels 58), Sisi (Fearns 62), Houston.
 
Scorers

 
London Irish
Tries: Paice, Short
Conversions: Geraghty (2)
Penalties: Geraghty (3)

 
Bath Rugby
Tries: penalty, Thomas, Cook
Conversions: Henson (3)
Penalties: Henson (4)

 
Referee: Andrew Small
Attendance: 8,133
 

Latest News

Newcastle Falcons are ready for star-studded challenge in Singha 7s

Newcastle Falcons are not worried about facing a star-studded Wasps squad in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s on Friday, and…

Adam Radwan

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Exeter Chiefs will be looking to use the buzz of last season’s success as inspiration in their bid win the…

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Ben Vellacott gunning for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s glory with Gloucester Rugby

Ben Vellacott is certain Gloucester Rugby’s exciting line-up for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s can go all the way…

Ben Vellacott

Ones to watch: Singha Premiership Rugby 7s 2017

England internationals, Premiership Rugby record holders, Olympic medallists and the hottest rugby talent in the country – put all that…

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Harlequins is proud to confirm today (Wednesday 27th July) that Harlequins Academy member James Lang has extended his time with…

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling