Booth accepts blame for Sale fightback
October 31, 2010
Toby Booth has taken a share of the blame for Sale's fightback © Getty Images
London Irish coach Toby Booth has accepted a share of the blame after his side narrowly survived a Sale fightback at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
The Exiles required a brace of penalties and a late bonus-point try from wing Jonathan Jospeh to prevail 39-26 but had led 26-6 as the final quarter loomed before the Sharks bit back to level the scores. Booth admitted that the timing of his changes robbed his side of their momentum.
"If you look at the changes I made and when I made them, in addition to not having the ball, it looks as though we took our foot off the pedal," he said. "In relation to game control, I'm to blame. That's probably a learning point for me.
"At this stage of the season with international breaks and the LV= Cup coming, you have to plan your squad accordingly. I try to be as proactive as I can but I got that wrong today, which is a learning curve for me."
Booth was in high spirits despite the late scare. "We're in the entertainment business," he added. "I'm delighted - five points at home is just what the doctor ordered, though I don't know if the doctor ordered the middle 20 minutes of the second half.
"We couldn't get the ball back and you have to credit Sale for that. Ryan Lamb and Jonathan Joseph in particular played well, but we'll learn from this."
Sale boss Mike Brewer praised his side's second-half intent after receiving a 'rocket' at half-time.
"We wanted to play a physical game against Irish, taking them on," he said. "Our game strategy in the first 10 minutes was good. Our kicking was poor and they got a rocket at half time. In the second half we did play how we set out and put them under pressure.
"Irish were the better team on the day but they took their foot off the pedal when they were well ahead. The mayhem at the end dropped us the point. We came down here to win the game and the players took that literally given what happened at the end.
"Coming to the Madejski is like going to Welford Road - you get an opportunity to win the game you have a crack at it. I'd criticise the execution of it but not the mindset which was to come here and win the game."
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