Harlequins 5 London Irish 35
London Irish gained their first Aviva Premiership victory since the recent appointment of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss when scoring an impressive away win at Harlequins on Saturday, and in the process kept their very slim home of Premiership survival alive.
Two Piet van Zyl tries shocked the Quins side before Max Northcote-Green added a third. These five-pointers allied to three successful conversion and three penalties from kicker Tommy Bell gave the Exiles a comprehensive 35-5 win at The Stoop, with the home side’s only score coming from a Jack Clifford try.
The win, London Irish’s third in the Aviva Premiership this season, having already defeated Harlequins at the beginning of the season and second from bottom Worcester in February.
Worcester Warriors’ 27-13 win over Newcastle meant the Exiles only cut the gap between themselves and safety by one point. They now find themselves nine points adrift of Warriors with a possible 15 points remaining.
London Irish technical consultant Declan Kidney told BBC Radio Berkshire after Saturday’s win:
“Today was the day where the passes stuck. The players have been working hard all season and today, things fell for us. I’m delighted for them because when you put in a lot of hard work and don’t win, doubts can creep in. But hopefully we’ve banished a few of those today and we can move on.”
The former Ireland Head Coach went on:
“We can only work with what’s within our control and congratulations to Worcester. They knew they had to pull out a result. All we can do is take each game as it comes and they don’t come much bigger than Exeter at home next weekend. As long as it’s mathematically there (survival), we’ll keep fighting.”
Unfortunately for Kidney’s side, they host the Aviva Premiership’s top two teams in the coming rounds, firstly Exeter Chiefs, followed by Saracens. Irish then have an away game in Round 22 of the season, at Bath.