London Irish's Tom Pearson in action against Exeter. Alamy Stock Photo

London Irish come from behind to beat Exeter

Elsewhere, Gloucester enjoyed a 32-22 win away to Newcastle and Northampton were 29-13 winners at Worcester.

LONDON IRISH RECOVERED from conceding two early tries to beat Exeter 18-14 in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.

The Exiles, in front of a record 11,555 attendance at the Brentford Community Stadium, were 14-0 behind inside 20 minutes following tries from Olly Woodburn and prop Patrick Schickerling.

But they hit back through Matt Cornish and Paddy Jackson’s two penalties, before a James Stokes score on the stroke of half-time completed the comeback.

London Irish coach Les Kiss said the crowd had inspired his side against the 2020 champions.

“We knew there was going to be about 10,000 fans down here watching us play today – so it was nice to be able to give them something to cheer about,” said Kiss.

“Fair play to the players who kept working hard at it. To go 14-0 down, and then come back and do that is a pretty good effort.”

Exeter wing Tom O’Flaherty struggled to explain his side’s reversal of fortune.

“We started the game really well and had periods of complete and utter dominance right at the start of the match,” he said.

“But then we really let ourselves down towards the second part of the first half.”

Steve Diamond said Worcester were a “work in progress” after a 29-13 loss at home to Northampton.

Former Sale boss Diamond, currently working as Worcester’s lead rugby consultant, will succeed Alan Solomons as the Warriors’ rugby director after the end of the season.

A gutsy second-half effort saw Worcester score tries through prop Rory Sutherland and centre Ashley Beck.

“I thought we were competitive, but the scoreline doesn’t suggest that,” added Diamond.

Northampton remained in play-off contention through tries by centre Rory Hutchinson, hooker Sam Matavesi and scrum-half Alex Mitchell, with Wales captain Dan Biggar kicking two conversions and a penalty.

“It is a very tough league, and you can’t do better than get five points away from home, so I am happy with that part of it,” said Saints boss Chris Boyd.

Gloucester enjoyed a 32-22 five-try win away to Newcastle in a match where kick-off was delayed several hours by storm-force winds.

Val Rapava-Ruskin got the Cherry and Whites’ first try, before Adam Radwan replied for the Falcons.

Santiago Carreras and Lewis Ludlow made it 20-8 at the break to Gloucester, before Mateo Carreras reduced the deficit.

But Ollie Thorley and Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit pushed Gloucester clear.

– © AFP 2022 

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella, and Gavan Casey glance ahead to the Six Nations, chat about the Irish provinces’ progress in Europe, then discuss the latest off-the-pitch drama in Welsh rugby.

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