Irish take narrow win

London Irish were celebrating a landmark victory in their season with a 15-10 victory over Guinness Premiership leaders Gloucester. [more]

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London Irish were celebrating a landmark victory in their season with a 15-10 victory over Guinness Premiership leaders Gloucester.

Exiles forwards coach Toby Booth claimed his side had shown they were not a bottom four club as the table dictates, but were proving themselves to be among the play-off contenders.

"In previous games we’ve looked edgy. This week it was all about the performance," he said.

"If you start putting pressure on to players to win at all costs, you start making a rod for your own back – you’re playing relegation rugby before you need to.

"We believe we’re a top four side. We’ve underachieved and we’re all very aware of that and today you saw glimpses of rugby that London Irish wants to be associated with."

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Two second-half tries from Argentinian winger Tomas De Vedia was just reward for Irish’s fervent attacking game which penned Gloucester in their own half for long periods and harried them into mistakes.

The Cherry and Whites remain top of the table thanks to their losing bonus point secured from an Iain Balshaw try and debutant Chris Paterson’s conversion and penalty.

But head coach Dean Ryan was frustrated by the decisions from referee Sean Davey and his touch judges around the breakdown.

"It was a game in which we didn’t do a huge amount wrong overall, we just didn’t get the front foot ball and didn’t get moving into phases," Ryan said.

"We don’t control all the factors which allow that to happen and when those are removed from the game, it becomes very tight with no opportunities to score and that’s what we saw today.

"I’m being told that the breakdown is going to be tidy and the offside line is going to be adhered to and we’re going to see the ball in play. Today I didn’t see it that way."

But Booth disagreed, adding: "You can still control the breakdown. I thought they had the rub of the green at the breakdown. They slowed the breakdowns and made it messy.

"If they’re saying they didn’t have quick ball you have to make adjustments accordingly.

"We controlled the game better. On the back of a couple of losses you take a victory however they come."

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