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London Irish 18 Harlequins 13
TWO tries in the space of four second-half minutes earned London Irish an 18-13 victory over visiting Harlequins at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
The victory, the Exiles’ second of the season, moved Irish up to eighth in the Premiership table – but they needed a battling performance to overcome Harlequins.
Shane Geraghty’s early kick put the hosts ahead twice in the first half, but Nick Evans’ boot pegged them back on both occasions and the sides went in to half-time level at 6-6.
Harlequins missed two decent opportunities to take the lead after the break, Evans and Ben Botica both missing makeable kicks.
Irish made them pay, Blair Cowan driving over for his first try for the club, with Geraghty’s conversion putting the hosts 13-6 ahead.
They moved further clear moments later, Topsy Ojo kicking through for Alex Lewington to touch down.
England scrum-half Danny Care got Harlequins back into the game, coasting in from 25 metres, but while Evans’ conversion earned the visitors a bonus point, Irish held on for the win, much to the delight of director of rugby Brian Smith.
“It was a really courageous performance,” he said. “It was by no means a perfect performance but we found a way to get over the line. I am very proud of the squad.”
Irish are next in action on Friday, when they host Italian side I Cavalieri Prato in the Amlin Challenge Cup (kick-off 8pm).
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