Booth backs Armitage after latest incident overshadows Exiles' win

London Irish 29 Exeter 22

The London Irish head coach, Toby Booth, defended a first-half incident in his side's Premiership victory over Exeter at the Madejski Stadium which could have landed England's Delon Armitage in more hot water.

Armitage was on song, with Booth describing as "great" his rousing performance yesterday, which carried Irish into third place in the table. But the full-back courted more controversy in a difficult season when he clattered into Exeter's fly-half, Ignacio Mieres. The Argentine was left shaken for a few minutes on the touchline by his own 22.

Armitage only returned to action with Irish this month after a five-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Bath wing Tom Biggs and a concurrent ban for striking lock Dave Attwood with his knee in the same match in October. It was his fourth suspension this year.

Booth's view was that yesterday's incident was something and nothing, although officials may want to review it on account of the player's troubled record. The Irishman said: "He went in for a tackle from behind and, as the player has bent down, he has gone up over the top of him. It is a penalty at most in my opinion. But, as always, because of what has gone before, people will have a closer look."

Rob Baxter, the Exeter coach, had a different take: "It certainly dazed him [Mieres]. There is definitely an arm over the top. That is not alleged, you can see that pretty clearly. The touch judge was in a pretty good position and he gave his worth on what he thought it was. I'm not too concerned about that, you just have to get on with it and play."

Centres Joe Ansbro, in the first half, and Shontayne Hape touched down for the Exiles, while young wing Tom Homer, the Premiership's leading points scorer, added 19 more with his boot.

Exeter were always chasing the game after Ansbro's try on three minutes, but showed their fighting spirit with Mieres kicking five penalties and converting a try from full-back Luke Arscott.

Irish were never comfortably ahead, even though they led 19-9 at half-time. Exeter never give in, but it was not enough and the pair are now tied on points in mid-table. Booth said: "We took our chances and I'm delighted about that. We started exceptionally well, we took the game by the scruff of the neck.

"What I would say about the contest is there was a lot of endeavour from both sides and, from a crowd point of view, it would suggest to me that it was an enthralling contest. People were positive and that has to be good for everyone."

Scorers London Irish: Tries Ansbro, Hape; Conversions Homer 2; Penalties Homer 5; Exeter: Try Arscott; Conversion Mieres; Penalties Mieres 5.

London Irish D Armitage; Ojo, Ansbro, Hape, Homer; Shingler, Allinson (Hodgson, 70); Dermody (Halavatau, 79), Paice (Buckland, 55), Ion (Corbisiero, 53); Evans, Garvey (Casey, 74); Danaher, Gibson, Thorpe (Gray, 64). Replacements not used Thompstone, Jarvis.

Exeter Arscott; Camacho, Sestaret, Dollman (Shoemark, 41), Jess; Mieres, Thomas (Barrett, 62); Tui (Muldowney, 42), Alcott (Clark, 49), Mitchell (Andress, 53); Hayes, Bentley (Sturgess, 43); Baxter, Scaysbrook, Phillips. Replacements not used Johnson, Steenson.

Referee D Richards (RFU).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat