It is as well Newcastle won for Rob Andrew would have probably needed a strait-jacket had they surrendered their unbeaten record at Sunbury. As it was, the former England outside-half could not wait to board the team coach and head North. It was a particularly graceless exit.
A cry from an Irish voice of "You're past it, Andrew!" did not improve the director of rugby's mood but it was the referee, Doug Chapman, who really got up his nose. "We are very frustrated at not being able to play the game we want to play," Andrew said.
"We are not being allowed any continuity. The game goes from set piece to breakdown and we have to start all over again. We want to play good rugby but the game is not moving forward. The public want to see movement, they want to be entertained.
"The south hemisphere has ignored the international board and played to different laws. When New Zealand come over here they are going to find it very difficult."
Dean Ryan, the Newcastle captain, was the first player to be sent to the sin-bin. Ryan's aggression made him Public Enemy No 1 in the eyes of the crowd, with Andrew a close second.
His outburst would have been easier to swallow but for the fact that he has spent most of his career kicking the living daylights out of the ball.
Newcastle's four tries came from the forwards, two of them from the Irish international prop Nick Popplewell. If Newcastle were frustrated it was not simply down to the spoiling tactics of a gutsy Irish back row. Gary Armstrong and Va'aiga Tuigamala had indifferent games and as for lack of continuity, that was partly explained by Newcastle's tendency to die with the ball rather than release it.
London Irish: Try Hogan; Conversion Corcoran; Penalties Corcoran 4. Newcastle: Tries Popplewell 2, Lam, Nesdale; Conversions Andrew 3; Penalties Andrew 3.
London Irish: C O'Shea (capt, S Burns, 79); J Bishop, N Burrows, M McCall, M Corcoran; D Humphreys, N Hogan; J Fitzpatrick, T Redmond (R Kellam, 65), G Halpin (A Kershaw, 72), G Fulcher, M O'Kelly, K O'Connell, K Spicer, K Dawson.
Newcastle: S Legg; J Bentley, V Tuigamala, A Tait, G Childs; R Andrew, G Armstrong; N Popplewell, R Nesdale, P Van-Zandvliet, G Archer, D Weir, P Lam, D Ryan (capt), R Arnold.
Referee: D. Chapman (Yorkshire).Reuse content