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Match Reaction: London Welsh 12 London Irish 50

London Welsh assistant coach Ollie Smith admitted fly-half Shane Geraghty took the game away from his side in the first half, after they went down 50-12 at home to London Irish.

The 28-year-old Irishman pulled the strings in the midfield, adding eight points from the boot to his two scores as Irish ran in six tries before half-time in the battle of the Exiles.

Winger Alex Lewington nabbed his second Aviva Premiership Rugby hat-trick of the season, while Tom Fowlie, Matt Parr and Andrew Fenby also got on the scoresheet.

Welsh responded with tries from James Tincknell and Taione Vea, but Smith could only stand back and applaud Geraghty’s virtuoso performance before he was replaced at the interval.

“Shane Geraghty ran the show,” he said. “He's an outstanding player and he is very astute and I only wish we had him in our ranks.

“This was a good chance for us  against the side above us but you can't go in at half-time 38-7 down.

“It left us far too much to do and all we could do was to try and win the second half.

“We didn't look after the ball, and when we gave the ball away it was catastrophic. However at least we salvaged something after the interval.

“We've not achieved what we wanted to so far this season but we are not giving up.”

Meanwhile Irish coach Glenn Delaney was thrilled with the resounding victory, despite his side losing some of the momentum after making a series of changes after the first-half.

It sees the Madejski outfit jump ahead of Newcastle Falcons in the standings and bounce back after two consecutive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats.

Delaney said: “We were determined to give them a lot of respect and in the first half we were very clinical and really sharp.

“We scored tries from all aspects of our game which was very pleasing.

“We decided to take some of key players off at half-time as we want a depth in our squad and it's important that certain players have game time.

“We wanted to treat the second half like a new game with some different players, but it did become very fragmented.”

London Welsh: Kear, Stegmann, Lewis, Tincknell, Scott (Barkley 31), Robinson (Reynolds 40), Lewis (Davies 60), Aholelei (Trevett 47), Elloway (Morris 47), Gilding (Vea 47), Schofield (Down 31), Corker, Pienaar, Kirwan (Thorpe 40), Fonua.
 
London Irish: Fenby, Lewington, Fowlie, Sheridan (Griffin 64), Short, Geraghty (Noakes 40), Steele (Allinson 40), Parr (Hagan 53), Paice (Stevens 62), Halavatau (Palframan 62), Skivington, Rouse, Treviranus (Narraway 53), Gilsenan, Guest (Sinclair 62).
 
Scorers
 
London Welsh
Tries: Tincknell, Vea
Conversions: Robinson
 
London Irish
Tries: Lewington 3, Fowlie, Geraghty 2, Parr, Fenby
Conversions: Geraghty 4, Noakes
 
Attendance: 3,593
Referee: Matt Carley

Tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final are on sale. Click here to snap one up: premiershiprugby.com/final

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