Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Booth relieved to end slump

Toby Booth

London Irish coach Toby Booth was pleased and relieved to see his side end a six-game losing run in the Aviva Premiership as they were deserved 23-14 winners over Newcastle at the Madejski Stadium.

Newcastle matched their hosts in the first half and should have been at least level, rather than 10-7 down, at the interval. In the second half Irish dominated play and clinched the victory thanks to further tries from Clarke Dermody and Seilala Mapusua.

Booth said: "I would rather win, and play less than brilliantly, than have an impeccable loss. Our defence was very good but I was less pleased with our conversion rate as we had a number of scoring opportunities."

Exiles scrum-half Paul Hodgson left the field after 20 minutes with a nasty-looking head injury following a charge down of Jimmy Gopperth's clearance kick.

Booth said: "He has concussion and some stitches but hopefully he will be OK. That was typical of his commitment."

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait was disappointed with certain aspects of his side's performance and said: "We came here with a game plan and we had systems in place but we gave away a soft try and early in the second half everybody started doing their own thing and nobody knew what they were doing."

An individual effort from Ryan Lamb gave Irish the interval advantage, and Tait was disappointed by the manner in which the touchdown was conceded.

"I was really happy in the first half as we put pressure on them but we had talked about Lamb's show and go and I am miffed that he got away with it," Tait said.

"Irish are a bit of a bogey side for us but we were only outscored by three tries to two and that's a positive."

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