Round-up: Exiles fall just short after try denied by TV replay

London Irish were beaten 23-18 by Edinburgh in Challenge Cup quarter-final

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London Irish missed out on a place in the European Challenge Cup semi-finals by the slimmest of margins after David Paice saw a potentially match-winning try held up in the final minute of their 23-18 defeat to Edinburgh at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday. The score was only disallowed after a lengthy television review.

Edinburgh raced into an early lead as prop W P Nel scored a try, with scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne adding the conversion and three penalties. Irish fought back, though, and took the lead through tries from flanker Conor Gilsenan and No 9  Scott Steele, with fly-half Shane Geraghty adding eight points with the boot. However, replacement lock Fraser McKenzie crashed over for Edinburgh’s second try and, despite late pressure from the Exiles, they were unable to come up with the score that would have won them a place in the semi-finals.

Northampton’s director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, was at a loss to explain their humiliating European Champions Cup exit after suffering a 37-5 defeat to French side Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday. Saints trailed 37-0 in the second half after Fijian-born France wing Noa Nakaitaci had scored twice, along with further tries from Wesley Fofana and Nick Abendanon. “They were very, very good. But I also think we were pretty bad,” said Mallinder. “It’s very difficult to put your finger on it.”