Racing Metro 14-34 London Irish, Heineken Cup
Booth bullish after win over Racing
December 10, 2011
London Irish winger Adam Thompstone dives over during his side's impressive win in Colombes © Getty Images
London Irish boss Toby Booth admitted that he could not have asked for any more from his side after watching them keep their Heineken Cup hopes alive with a stunning 34-14 triumph over Racing Metro on Saturday afternoon.
The Exiles, who had gone into the game on the back of successive defeats by Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues, ran in four tries at the Stade Yves du Manoir, with Adam Thompstone notching twice after earlier touchdowns from Jonathan Spratt and Joe Ansbro.
The victory leaves Irish third in Pool 2, two points behind second-placed Edinburgh and five adrift of Cardiff Blues. However, while they still have it all to do, Booth is understandably feeling a lot more positive about his side's qualification prospects.
"It was always going to be very tough coming here," he said. "Everyone talks about winning your home games in the Heineken Cup but the key to surviving is to win on the road.
"We've done that and we've picked up a bonus point. It's the first step to keeping our Heineken Cup hopes alive.
"I couldn't have asked for more, both in terms of the result and the performance. To go up against a French institution like Racing - with the budget, resources and quality of players they have - and to win is a great result for us.
"It's something we can hang our hat on going forward. It's shown our very young side that we can compete with the best."
Booth also insisted that even though the Exiles had only managed one previous win on French soil, he always believed his side were capable of resurrecting their Heineken Cup campaign.
"I never thought we were out of it," he insisted. "Our biggest loss this season has been six points and that was when we were down to 14 men for 70 minutes against Cardiff in the last round. We've always been competitive.
"Racing will come to us next week hurting, though. They'll be devastated by this loss and next week's game is a potential hiccup for us. Consistency is absolutely key for us now. This win will mean nothing if we don't back it up it next week".
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry