Relief for Booth after Exiles victory
February 12, 2011
London Irish fullback Topsy Ojo makes a break during Saturday's win over Newcastle © Getty Images
London Irish Toby Booth was understandably pleased after his side ended their six-game losing streak in the Aviva Premiership with a 23-14 win over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday but he was less enamoured with the performance.
The Exiles opened the scoring with an early penalty from fly-half Ryan Lamb but fellow behind when Falcons fly-half nipped in for a converted try on ten minutes. However, Irish responded with tries from Lamb, Clarke Dermody and Seilala Mapusua to take complete control of the game.
Gcobani Bobo notched a late try for the visitors but it counted for little as Irish claimed a long overdue victory. Booth admitted afterwards that it had been far from pretty but he was relieved that the Exiles' ignominious run was finally over.
"I would rather win, and play less than brilliantly, than have an impeccable loss. Our defence was very good today but I was less pleased with our conversion rate as we had a number of scoring opportunities," he said.
The Exiles had been forced to overcome the loss of scrum-half Paul Hodgson after just 20 minutes, the former England international having been forced off with a head injury sustained whilst charging down an attempted clearance from Gopperth. Happily, Booth was able to deliver an upbeat prognosis after the game.
"He has concussion and some stitches but hopefully he will be OK. That was typical of his commitment," he said.
Meanwhile, Newcastle head coach Alan Tait was disappointed with his side's performance at the Madjeski, feeling that his players had failed to follow instructions.
"We came here with a game plan and we had systems in place but we gave away a soft try and early in the second half everybody started doing their own thing and nobody knew what they were doing," he said.
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