London Irish 40-24 Leeds, Aviva Premiership, October 2
Booth delights in ugly win
October 2, 2010
London Irish fullback Delon Armitage looks to force an opening in the Leeds defence © Getty Images
London Irish head coach Toby Booth hailed his team for winning ugly following a 40-24 win over Leeds that cemented their place at the top of the Aviva Premiership table.
Three penalties from Ryan Lamb, who ended with a personal haul of 18 points, and a converted try from hooker James Buckland helped the Exiles to a 16-7 advantage. Ceiron Thomas crossed for the visitors and converting his own try. The home side added further scores through replacement wing Sailosi Tagicakibau (2) and George Stowers, meaning tries from Hendre Fourie and Luther Burrell were not enough for the Yorkshiremen.
"It was a very slow start without question and we fell our way into the game but I was confident that over a full 80 minutes we would be successful," said Booth. "It was a workmanlike performance with no glitz or glamour and we are satisfied but not happy with our overall performance. We won ugly and we will take that".
Booth was delighted to still to be top of the table but is certain there is still room for improvement. "If it was a school report after the first quarter I would describe it as very good," he added. "However we haven't played fantastically, Newcastle apart, and there is much to improve. For example, not conceding three tries at home and being more precise in certain areas."
Leeds are rooted to the foot of the table but coach Andy Key said, "Despite the result we are very pleased. This was a completely different performance. This was a marked improvement, we played with a never say die attitude and played for the whole eighty minutes. We were back to our post-Christmas form of last season and against a number of sides we would have got a win today."
The Yorkshiremen were in contention until the sin-binning of Hendre Fourie late in the second half. Key added, "I thought Hendre was very unlucky. He had stolen the ball on a number of similar occasions and I felt he was pulled over the ruck by Irish players.
"However I don't want to take issue with that aspect as I take great positives from our performance and we have to reproduce this performance in the next few weeks."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.