Worcester Warriors 19 London Irish 9By Alan Manicom
February 08, 2010
Toby Booth conceded that London Irish’s line-outs and scrums were not up to their usual standard as his side’s interest in the LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup was ended.
The Exiles coach said: “It was a frustrating afternoon. At the set piece we struggled where normally we don’t.
“Credit to the opposition, but there was also the referee’s interpretations and that put us behind the 8-ball a little bit.
“There was a fairly high penalty count and stoppage rate and it was difficult for both sides to get into the game.
“It became a bit of a bitty affair which I think was disappointing for everyone.
“We are talking about consistency from us and the referee. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of that consistency so I am disappointed for the people who have travelled from our end to watch that and braved a bitterly cold afternoon.”
Worcester took the lead after just six minutes when Dale Rasmussen sent in-form wing Chris Pennell over for the game’s only try, which Willie Walker converted.
Ryan Lamb gratefully slotted over his first penalty of the afternoon in the 18th minute after Worcester flanker Chris Cracknell was penalised for playing the ball on the deck.
However, Walker responded in kind to make it 10-3 after Exiles’ scrum was penalised under pressure.
Lamb then cut the deficit just four minutes later when Worcester’s front row collapsed in front of their own sticks.
But Worcester went in 13-6 ahead at half-time thanks to another Walker penalty.
For London Irish the break could not come soon enough as twice they were forced to hold up the home side on the line.
After the break, Welsh referee David Bodilly penalised Irish for coming up too quickly at a line-out and the penalty was then moved on 10 metres for some back-chat.
Lamb continued to remonstrate and was sent to the sin bin. Shortly afterwards, Exiles prop Dan Murphy was penalised for not binding and Walker slotted his fourth penalty from four attempts.
When Lamb’s time in the bin was up, former Worcester man Jamie Lennard came on as his replacement and Hewat took over the kicking duties, striking home a penalty to make it 19-9.
It was one of an incredible 31 penalties awarded throughout the match.
But apart from a fine tackle by Topsy Ojo on Worcester’s Matt Jones and a promising break by Lennard, Exiles failed to conjure up much more of note on a day when only a high-scoring win would have been good enough to secure a place in the semi-finals.