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Booth's attitude to Cup changes

Head coach Toby Booth spelled out his ambitions for London Irish after watching them overcome a spirited young Newcastle side on Sunday.

Booth made it clear he wants to win the LV=Cup by sending out a side bristling with quality and intent - and they responded with a 39-23 success. He has treated the competition with less importance in previous years - but insisted his attitude is very different this season.

Booth said: "I've been guilty of not competing fully in the LV= Cup in the past because within a salary-cap driven structure it is very difficult to give 100% on three fronts. But this season, the World Cup provides clubs with an autumn free of international games so you can rely on having your squad intact and really give lads their heads."

He added: "For example, we saw Anthony Watson on the wing chatting at one point with his class-mates in the stand. That was a reminder to me that he is only 17, at school and with so much to learn. He is also a tremendous and exciting talent.

"But the difference out there was quality. Newcastle came to play rugby and gave a very spirited display. But we had that quality edge on them. When you can bring on the likes of Daniel Bowden and Faan Rautenbach, when you can start with Delon Armitage and hand a debut to Shontayne Hape, you expect to win - and we did."

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait said: "When the game was in the balance, and we were leading 18-16, they could bring on a world class player in Bowden and he changed the face of the match.

"I have to be pleased with the performance and attitude of what was a very young side. Many lads showed their mettle out there and we continue to play open rugby and score tries.

"But until we really sort out our lineout, we will not enjoy the possession that a top-notch lineout delivers.

"There are areas for us to work on there, but we do have a few keys players coming back in time for our return to Aviva Premiership action next week and the arrival of Northampton."

Bowden scored 13 points from a try, conversion, penalty and drop goal after replacing Steven Shingler at fly-half - who had kicked three penalties and a conversion. Adam Thompstone (2) and Armitage scored the other tries while Greg Goosen, Jamie Helleur and Joe Graham crossed the line for Newcastle and Jeremy Manning kicked two penalties and a conversion.


From Belfast Telegraph