Heineken Cup - Game of the Week
Booth heaps praise on match-winner Lamb
Scrum.com
October 9, 2009
London Irish fly-half Ryan Lamb slots a kick, Leeds Carnegie v London Irish, Headingley, Leeds, England, September 20, 2009
London Irish fly-half Ryan Lamb booted his side to a valuable victory in Dublin © Getty Images
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London Irish coach Toby Booth praised Ryan Lamb for 'stepping up to the moment' when he scored the last-minute penalty that gave his side a hard-fought 12-9 victory over defending Heineken Cup champions Leinster.

With the teams level coming into the final 10 minutes at the RDS, a tense finish ensued. Both defences held strong not to concede any tries, but the Exiles came out on top after some indiscipline ultimately cost Leinster the match.

The first half was primarily a battle between the place-kickers, Jonathan Sexton and Peter Hewat, but neither team could establish a stranglehold on the match. Australian Hewat coolly converted a tricky penalty, with the last kick of the first half, to level the game at 6-6 .

However, Lamb, on as a replacement for Chris Malone, was the eventual hero for London Irish when he held his nerve over a late kick to edge a tight contest between these two heavyweights. Asked what pleased him most about the performance, Booth said, "Four points if I'm brutally honest. We won a game in the backyard of a very difficult place to come against the defending champions that are in good form.

"Of course, we were expecting a very difficult contest. We've snuck it at the end and I think the enthusiasm with which the boys celebrated is purely out of respect for Leinster because they know how hard it is to come here and get anything."

Booth responded to questions of how this victory rates compared to the Toulouse semi-final two years ago, saying, "This rates in front of it for us because we won the game plain and simple. Part of the evolution of London Irish has been trying to be adaptable. Being able to win in different ways is all about your evolution as a team."

Hosts Leinster came into this match on the back of an impressive 30-0 thumping of Munster in the Magners League, however they were unable to match the dynamism of that performance.

Asked if his team deserved something from the match, Leinster coach Michael Cheika replied, "We didn't play well on the ground. We had the opportunity to put a fair bit of play together at various moments but we weren't effective enough at ruck time. I think that was a really costly area of the game for us. We got a losing bonus point but the target was to get four and we didn't get it."

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