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The hosts were better in most facets of the game and came out 34 points to 11 victors.
Edinburgh made a lively start and enjoyed plenty of possession early on. Greig Laidlaw placed a nicely weighted grubber kick into the huge in-goal area at Murrayfield that was well read by Delon Armitage, who was alert to the danger.
The following exchanges were very stop, start due to injury breaks and set piece issues. It was at the set piece where Irish managed to get their first point scoring opportunity from. Alex Corbisiero got the upper hand on Geoff Cross and referee Peter Fitzgibbon awarded the Exiles a penalty 30 metres out. Adrian Jarvis stepped up to put Irish on the board.
The Edinburgh response was immediate. Their ball carriers made inroads into Irish territory and this time the Laidlaw grubber kick was weighted perfectly and with no last line of defence, Tim Visser was on hand to pounce on the ball to score the first try of the game. Laidlaw added the conversion to put Edinburgh four points ahead.
Laidlaw and Jarvis exchanged penalties midway through the first half for a scrum and break down offence respectively. Irish were doing some fantastic work on the floor with Paul Hodgson and James Buckland winning their side penalties.
Edinburgh added 10 points in the final 10 minutes of the half to have a 14 point advantage at the break. Greig Laidlaw kicked a straightforward penalty before Jim Thompson crossed for Edinburgh’s second try. The hosts led 20 – 6 at the break.
Irish came out firing in the second half and took the game to Edinburgh. Delon Armitage made the initial break into Edinburgh territory and then the Irish forwards kept the ball, edging closer to the line on every occasion. Credit to Edinburgh, who did well to withstand the pressure, denying Irish any points.
Jonathan Joseph and Steven Shingler came onto the field with 20 minutes to go and combined well to put Irish back in the game. Shingler passed to Joseph who chipped through for Thompstone who gathered and passed back inside to Joseph, who evaded two tacklers to run in from 30 metres.
The Joseph try that had momentarily given Irish hope but that was dashed when Edinburgh number 8 Netani Talei crossed for the match winning try on 72 minutes.
Edinburgh’s route into the quarter final was confirmed when Lee Jones scored a bonus point try with two minutes remaining.
London Irish head to Wales to take on the Scarlets in the LV=Cup next Saturday.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 3-0, 3-7, 3-10, 6-10, 6-13, 6-20, 11-20, 11-27, 11-34
Scorers: London Irish: Penalties: Jarvis (10, 24), Tries: Joseph (68); Edinburgh: Tries: Visser (12), Thompson (36), Talei (72), Jones (78); Conversions: Laidlaw 4; Penalties: Laidlaw (21, 32)
15. Jim Thompson; 14. Lee Jones; 13. Matt Scott; 12. John Houston; 11. Tim Visser; 10. Greig Laidlaw (Captain); 9. Mike Blair; 1. Allan Jacobsen; 2. Ross Ford; 3. Geoff Cross (rep: Jack Gilding, 45); 4. Grant Gilchrist (rep: Esteban Lozada, 71); 5. Sean Cox; 6. Stuart McInally; 7. Roddy Grant; 8. Netani Talei
Replacements: 16. Alun Walker; 17. Kyle Traynor; 18. Jack Gilding; 19. Esteban Lozada; 20. Ross Rennie; 21. Phil Godman; 22. Tom Brown; 23. Gregor Hunter
London Irish team
15. Delon Armitage; 14. Topsy Ojo (rep: Steven Shingler, 58); 13. Jonathan Spratt (rep: Jonathan Joseph, 58); 12. Shontayne Hape; 11. Adam Thompstone; 10. Adrian Jarvis; 9. Paul Hodgson (rep: Ross Samson, 51); 1. Alex Corbisiero (rep: Max Lahiff, 51); 2. James Buckland (rep: Brian Blaney, 37); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Faan Rautenbach, 45); 4. James Sandford (rep: Nick Kennedy, 51); 5. Bob Casey (Captain); 6. Matt Garvey; 7. David Sisi; 8. Alex Gray
Replacements: 16. Brian Blaney; 17. Max Lahiff; 18. Faan Rautenbach; 19. Nick Kennedy; 20. Bryn Evans; 21. Jonathan Joseph; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Ross Samson
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon
Attendance: 10, 892