London Irish 28 Bristol 8: Hewat's all-round class boosts Irish morale

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The Independent Online

The Australian full-back Peter Hewat contributed 18 points as London Irish ended their three-match losing run in the Guinness Premiership yesterday.

The victory provided a timely boost for Irish ahead of next Sunday's home Heineken Cup quarter-final against Perpignan.

Hewat scored a try, three penalties and two conversions. The other Irish tries came from hooker Stuart Mackie and centre Seilala Mapusua. Bristol replied with a first-half penalty from fly-half Ed Barnes and a late try from right-wing Tom Arscott.

England scrum-half Shaun Perry, back in the Bristol side after the throat injury which forced him to miss the Six Nations, worked hard to get the visitors moving but they seldom posed a threat in attack. Paul Hodgson, called into the England squad during Perry's absence, had the better day, combining well with fly-half Mike Catt, the steadying influence who dictated play for Irish.

London Irish: Tries: Mackie, Hewat, Mapusua. Conversions: Hewat 2. Penalties: Hewat 3. Bristol: Tries: T. Arscott. Penalties: Barnes.

London Irish: P Hewat (W Fury 70), T Ojo, G Tiesi, S Mapusua, S Tagicakibau, M Catt (E Hickey 56), P Hodgson, T Lea'aetoa, S Mackie (J Clark 80), F Rautembach (D. Murphy 67), N Kennedy (J Hudson 67), B Casey, (capt; G Johnson 75), D Danaher, S Armitage, P Murphy (J Leguizamon 70).

Bristol: T Arscott, L Arscott, R Higgitt, N Brew (L Eves 67), D Lemi, E Barnes (J Strange 67), S Perry (H Thomas 67), D Crompton, M Regan (S Linklater 54), J Hobson, N Budgett, S Hohneck (M Sambucetti 60), I Grieve (P Bracken 50), J El Abd (capt), D Ward-Smith. Replacement not used: R Pennycook.

Sin Bin: Bristol Hobson (48).

Referee: D Pearson (Newcastle).

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