London Irish 47 London Welsh 28: Battle at the bottom of the table goes to the Irish

 

Prop Halani Aulika's try-scoring antics continued as his double helped London Irish to a comprehensive victory over London Welsh at the Madejski Stadium.

The giant Tongan tighthead now has 11 tries in all competitions and four in his last four Aviva Premiership games. His two scores, in addition to tries from Guy Armitage (two), Sailosi Tagicakibau, Chris Hala'ufia and Matt Garvey saw Irish run riot.

For Welsh, who are already guaranteed to finish bottom of the table, it was a case of what might have been as the boot of Gordon Ross and tries from the impressive Seb Stegmann and Nick Scott kept them close for a while.

Former Scotland fly-half Ross was off target with a couple of early penalties but was unerring thereafter from the kicking tee, opening the scoring with his third attempt in the sixth minute.

Irish's first try came from Armitage just moments later, however, the centre breaking a couple of tackles to dive over after being fed by Tom Homer. Ian Humphreys added the conversion.

Stegmann, who was playing at outside centre rather than on the wing, had already made two clean breaks in the opening exchanges but both times Lyn Jones' side failed to make the most of the initial advance.

Irish clearly had not learned their lesson, though, because moments later the former Quins man was over for Welsh's first try, diving over to make it 8-7 to the visitors. Ross failed with his conversion attempt.

It was a breathless first half, full of running rugby, and Humphreys burst clear as Irish continued to carry the more potent attacking threat. Tagicakibau also carried with real menace.

Quite how Brian Smith's side had not added a second try was a credit to some last-gasp scramble defence from Welsh as well as a lack of killer instinct from the hosts.

And it was Welsh who were first to score their second try - somewhat against the run of play - on the half-hour mark. Stegmann was again involved with a fine initial break that saw Scott dive over in the corner, Ross' conversion taking it to 15-7.

But Irish were soon back in contention and it was that man Aulika, the prop diving over from close range with Humphreys' conversion making it 14-15 to the visitors shortly before the interval.

And Irish were back in front before the break. Marland Yarde was tackled centimetres short of the tryline and Hala'ufai found space to barrel over for the hosts' third try of the first half to make it 19-15.

Straight after the interval Aulika bagged his second, picking up and driving over from close range as Hala'ufia forced his team-mate over the line.

Humphreys' conversion went over off the post to put Irish 26-15 to the good, but Welsh were not going to roll over and Ross' two penalties in quick succession meant that with the hour mark approaching Welsh only trailed by five points.

Still it was Irish who carried the greater attacking threat, though, and only a George Skivington knock-on prevented their fifth try of the game.

With Aulika desperately searching for his hat-trick it was Tagicakibau who scored the decisive try on 61 minutes. He went over in the corner, with Humphreys' conversion stretching the lead to 33-21.

The departing Garvey then celebrated his last game in Irish colours with the sixth try before Armitage powered over for his second, with Greg Bateman adding a late consolation score for the visitors.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003