Booth wants to put best foot forward
April 3, 2011
London Irish wing Topsy Ojo breaks clear © Getty Images
London Irish boss Toby Booth is determined to finish the season on a high despite their fading Aviva Premiership play-off hopes.
Irish remain in fifth position as they seek to overtake Northampton or Gloucester to secure a top-four spot, with Sunday's win over Wasps another step in the right direction.
"We are delighted with the win," Booth said. "We are very difficult to beat at home. The play-off spot is not in our hands. We've relinquished control of that, but we must put our best foot forward. We've got to start winning on the road, beginning with Sale at the Reebok in a fortnight's time. The Reebok pitch is flat and wide and should suit us".
Wasps put in a better performance than in last week's heavy defeat at Northampton. They led 12-3 early on, but then fell away badly, allowing the Irish pack to dominate and giving away frequent penalties which resulted in home wing Tom Homer kicking six from eight attempts.
"I thought it was going to be our day," Leon Holden, the Wasps director of rugby, said. "Our defence and set-piece was very good and we played all the rugby in the first half and got no reward. I was disappointed with all the penalties but it was much more encouraging and we got stuck into our work a lot more."
Wasps cannot qualify for next season's Heineken Cup unless they win the Amlin Challenge Cup, with a quarter-final at the Stoop against Harlequins on Friday coming up. "It's a huge must win game," Holden said. "We'll only have one training run on Wednesday so with all the injuries it'll all be down to good old-fashioned guts."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery