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Kick-off was delayed by half an hour as Irish were caught in gridlock traffic on the M5, arriving at the ground at 8pm, the original kick-off time. Brian Smith’s side’s limited preparation didn’t seem to show any signs of disruption as they took a well-deserved lead on 13 minutes.
Marland Yarde, who has so far been Irish’s stand out player this season, was instrumental in the build-up and in delivering the final offload pass. Yarde claimed an Andy Goode chip kick, whilst colliding with Sailosi Tagicakibau, and powered his way into Worcester territory. After good ball retention and strong work by the Exiles front five, the ball was whisked down the wing to Yarde, who broke through the first tackle, before offloading to the powerful Samoan who ran in from 30 metres and finished in the corner.
Irish continued to dominate and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts when Worcester were penalised for playing the ball on the floor. Garvey, Aulika and Treviranus all carried strongly in the period leading up to the penalty. Shingler’s three points gave Irish an 8-0 lead.
Worcester stormed back into the contest and scored their first try from a driving maul. Once Irish eventually brought it to a halt, Aleki Lutui was on hand to squeeze over the line. Goode’s conversion made it a one point ball game. Goode kicked another penalty goal nine minutes before the break to take Worcester into the changing room’s 10-8 ahead.
Worcester dominated territory and possession throughout the second half and scored three tries to show for their efforts. Firstly Goode and Shingler exchanged penalty goals before Goode kicked his third to make it 16 11 with 24 minutes left.
Worcester had momentum with them and the second score finally came and was finished in the far corner by David Lemi. Replacement number 8, Semisi Taulava, scored Worcester’s third try before another replacement, Jon Clarke, secured the bonus point victory with a try on 80 minutes.
London Irish welcome Northampton Saints to Madejski Stadium next Saturday for round 6 of Aviva Premiership rugby.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 5-0, 8-0, 8-7, 8-10, 8-13, 11, 13, 11-16, 11-21, 11-28, 11-35
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Treviranus (13); Penalties; Shingler (18, 52); Worcester Warriors: Tries: Lutui (21), Lemi (68), Taulava (77), Clarke (80); Conversions: Goode (3); Penalties: Goode (31, 50, 56)
Worcester Warriors team:
15. Chris Pennell; 14. Nikki Walker (rep: Jon Clarke, 9); 13. Alex Grove; 12. Josh Matavesi; 11. David Lemi; 10. Andy Goode; 9. Jonny Arr; 1. Matt Mullan; 2. Aleki Lutui; 3. John Andress; 4. James Percival; 5. Dean Schofield (Captain) (rep: Craig Gillies, 68); 6. Chris Jones; 7. Sam Betty; 8. Matt Kvesic (rep: Semisi Taulava, 56)
Replacements: 16. Ollie Hayes; 17. Ceri Jones; 18. James Currie; 19. Craig Gillies; 20. Semisi Taulava; 21. Ollie Frost; 22. Joe Carlisle; 23. Jon Clarke;
London Irish team
15. Tom Homer; 14. Marland Yarde; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Steven Shingler (rep: Shane Geraghty, 73); 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau (rep: Topsy Ojo, 73); 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Tomás O’Leary; 1. Max Lahiff; 2. David Paice; 3. Halani Aulika (rep: Alan Cotter, 68); 4. Bryn Evans; 5. Matt Garvey (rep: George Skivington, 73); 6. Declan Danaher (Captain) (rep: Alex Gray, 40); 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16. Shaun Malton; 17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18. Alan Cotter; 19. George Skivington; 20. Alex Gray; 21. Topsy Ojo; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Jack Moates
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 8, 444