Tiesi steps out of shadows to lead Exiles' destruction of Worcester

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The Independent Online

London Irish forwards coach Tony Booth hailed his side's strength in depth after an experimental Exiles line-up brushed aside Worcester 48-27 in the EDF Energy Cup yesterday.

"Competition for places is what we want at this level," Booth said. "A lot of our players have put their hands up today. We've got some decisions to make for next week but that's a headache you like to have."

Despite praising the team as a whole, Booth also singled out Argentina centre Gonzalo Tiesi who made his first start of the season. "Gonzo was deservedly man of the match he distributed well and carried the ball well and that took the pressure off a lot of the other boys," he said. "His performance in attack was very encouraging."

The Exiles and Warriors produced a display of free-flowing rugby that defied the conditions and led to a thrilling spectacle for the Madejski Stadium crowd.

With neither side able to advance in the competition the pressure was lifted and the two sides responded in style with a 12-try classic.

Bristol and Leeds Carnegie, both of whom had nothing to play for in the EDF Cup, drew 13-13 in front of just 5,751 at the Memorial Stadium yesterday. With Saracens having secured their place in the semi-finals from this group the teams made 11 changes from their last Premiership matches and the game went ahead only after a pitch inspection following heavy rain and hailstorms in the West country.