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).

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect