WHILE PLENTY OF Irish talent stood out at home for the provinces during the weekend’s Pro12 action, there were lots of exiles playing in the English leagues too.
Here’s how our players got on in the Premiership and Championship.
London Irish earned their fifth victory of the league season with a dramatic 23-20 success away to rivals Wasps. Ian Humphreys started at out-half, scoring a try before being replaced in the 55th minute.
Remarkably, London Irish played over 30 minutes of the game with only 14 men after scrum-half Tomás O’Leary was red carded for excessive use of the foot on James Haskell in the 48th minute.
Centre Eamonn Sheridan, wearing 13, played the full 80 minutes once again for Brian Smith’s side. The ex-Leinster man still hasn’t missed a single minute of London Irish’s Premiership campaign, starting and finishing all 14 of their games so far.
Jamie Hagan enjoyed just his second league start of the season, completing 75 minutes before being subbed off. The Ireland international tighthead prop will hope to hang on to the number three shirt for next weekend’s visit of Leicester to London.
The Exiles move up to ninth in the league after this win.
Former Ulster prop John Andress lined out for Worcester as they were beaten 30-14 by Northampton yesterday. The tighthead completed 64 minutes before being replaced, but the Warriors paid the price for their indiscipline as they received two yellow cards and one red to stunt their challenge.
Worcester remain rooted to the bottom of the Premiership, still without a win this season.
Peter Stringer played 25 minutes off the bench in Bath’s excellent 27-23 success away to the Exeter Chiefs. The ex-Munster scrum-half was brought on with Mike Ford’s team holding a 17-16 lead and guided them to the victory with typical composure.
On the home team was Ulsterman Gareth Steenson, whose two conversions and three penalties were instrumental in keeping the Chiefs in the game. The 29-year-old has accumulated 147 points in the league this season, behind only Bath’s George Ford and Stephen Myler of Northampton.
Ian Whitten, also formerly of Ulster, was one of the two Chiefs try-scorers at Sandy Park, bursting through the Bath defence to dot down and completing the full 80 minutes in the 13 shirt.
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Rotherham Titans maintained their position at the summit of England’s second tier with a 15-12 win over London Scottish at home. Munster academy product Sean Scanlon started his 13th game of the season at fullback, with the 25-year-old continuing to impress for the league leaders.
Former Leinster wing Michael Keating came off the bench for the Titans, the first time he has not started a league fixture during this campaign. The pacy wing, who joined from Doncaster last summer, has scored six tries this season.
Ali Birch, who came through at Ulster, also appeared off the bench in the closing minutes for Rotherham. The 25-year-old back row has started 11 times in the Championship since joining last summer, crossing the whitewash thrice in that time.
On the losing side, 18-times capped Ireland international Neil Best played the full game at blindside flanker. The 34-year-old has started 13 games in total this season as London Scottish continue to push for promotion.
The capital-based club are fifth in the Championship.
Irish-qualified Matthew Jarvis scored nine points as Nottingham suffered an agonising 25-24 defeat at home to Bristol this afternoon. The ex-Connacht out-half had given the home team a 24-22 lead in the 79th minute, but Bristol’s Nicky Robinson slotted a last-gasp penalty to deny them.
Former Ireland U20 international Neilus Keogh was an unused substitute as Nottingham moved up to ninth thanks to their losing bonus point.