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Highlights & Report | Paddy Jacksons stars as London Irish Pip Wasps.

Irish surprise Wasps at the Ricoh

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Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

London Irish opened their Gallagher Premiership account with a hard fought 26-29 win over Wasps at the Ricoh Arena this afternoon. 

Tries from Blair Cowan, Albert Tuisue and a long range effort from Ollie Hassell-Collins, combined with 14 points off the boot of Paddy Jackson, was enough to get the Exiles across the line. 

Irish started the contest well and after going behind to a Lima Sopoaga penalty striking back right away. Paddy Jackson fizzed a pass to Ollie Hassell-Collins who broke down the left-hand flank. The winger was tackled five metres short of the line but three phases later, Blair Cowan bundled over the line for the opening score of the game. 

Sopoaga and Jackson traded penalties before the hosts struck back with their first try of the afternoon. The Exiles were turned over after gathering the restart and Wasps capitalised with Zach Kibirige squeezing in at the corner. The try gave Wasps an 11-8 lead. 

Declan Kidney’s side continued to stay in the fight and, when Jackson kicked his second penalty goal of the afternoon from 45 metres the scores were level at 11-11 at the half hour mark. 

With 10 minutes of the half remaining there was still a few twists and turns to take place. London Irish crossed for their second try of the afternoon following a well worked line-out. Paddy Jackson kicked to the corner and the resulting catch and drive saw a rampaging Albert Tuisue thunder back towards the Wasps try line carrying three Wasps defenders over with him. 

The Exiles lead lasted three minutes, with Zach Kibirigie crossing for his second of the afternoon to lock the game up again, this time at 16-16. 

Irish went into the break with the lead, Jackson converting his third penalty after a great penalty turnover was won by Blair Cowan. 16-19 Irish led at the break.

Hassell-Collins got what his first half performance deserved, three minutes into the second half. The winger sprinted in from 55 metres out, collecting a wide passed from the impressive Cowan to score his side’s third try. Jackson converted from the sideline to give his side a 10-point lead at 16-26. 

A Jackson penalty five minutes later was converted as referee JP Doyle penalised Wasps for being offside in the midfield. Irish led 16-29 with just over 30 minutes remaining. 

The following exchanges saw Wasps dominate possession in the Irish 22, however it was meet with resolute Irish defence. A stand-out moment saw Tom Parton make an outstanding try saving tackle to prevent Kibirigie his hat-trick in the corner. 

The hosts were not to be denied and, after gutsy Irish defence, Dan Robson eventually spotted a gap to dot down and bring Wasps right back into it. Sopoaga’s conversion reduced the deficit to 23-29 in favour of London Irish. 

Jacob Umaga, on as a second half replacement, reduced the arrears further with a penalty goal and it was agonisingly close moving towards the end. 

Wasps were camped on the Exiles line with time up on the clock and, when the ball was fumbled by the hosts, Jackson touched down over the Exiles try line to secure a three point victory.

Match Highlights:

Wasps: Penalties: Sopoaga (9, 15) Umaga (73); Tries: Kibirigie (23, 36), Robson (66); Conversions: Sopoaga (67) London Irish: Tries: Cowan (10), Tuisue (33); Hassell-Collins (43); Penalties: Jackson (21, 26, 40, 48); Conversions: Jackson (43)

London Irish 

15. Tom Parton; 14. Ben Loader; 13. Curtis Rona; 12. Terrence Hepetema; 11. Ollie Hassell-Collins; 10. Paddy Jackson; 9. Scott Steele (rep: Ben Meehan, 40); 1. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (rep: Harry Elrington, 52) 2. Saia Fainga’a (rep: Ross McMillan, 73); 3. Oliver Hoskins (rep: Lovejoy Chawatama, 73); 4. Franco van der Merwe © (rep: George Nott, 28); 5. Ruan Botha; 6. Matt Rogerson; 7. Blair Cowan; 8. Albert Tuisue

Replacements: 16. Ross McMillan; 17. Harry Elrington; 18. Lovejoy Chawatama; 19. George Nott; 20. Conor Gilsenan; 21. Ben Meehan; 22. Stephen Myler; 23. Matt Williams

Wasps

15. Marcus Watson; 14. Zach Kibirige; 13. Malakai Fekitoa; 12. Michael Le Bourgeois; 11. Josh Bassett; 10. Lima Sopoaga; 9. Dan Robson (C); 1. Zurabi Zhvania; 2. Tom Cruse; 3. Kieran Brookes; 4. James Gaskell; 5. Charlie Matthews; 6. Brad Shields; 7. Jack Willis; 8. Sione Vailanu

Replacements: 16. Gabriel Oghre; 17. Ben Harris; 18. Jeff Toomaga-Allen; 19. Thibaud Flament; 20. Nizaam Carr; 21. Sam Wolstenholme; 22. Jacob Umaga; 23. Juan de Jongh

Match Report from London Irish


Premiership

Match Report: Bath Rugby 13-19 Harlequins

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match summary

On a bitterly cold evening for The Rec faithful, it was Quins who came away with a win after delivering an unrelenting attack. 

A try from Will Butt closed the gap in the second half, but magic from Cadan Murley gave Quins a six-point lead. 

Fighting to the last second, it wasn’t to be for the hosts who came away with a losing bonus point.


team news

Ben Spencer was back to captain the Blue, Black and White to take on Harlequins.

England international Joe Cokanasiga made his first start for Bath since October which saw Matt Gallagher move to fullback.

Scotland international Cameron Redpath returned to inside centre, paired alongside Ollie Lawrence. 

Dave Attwood returned to the Gallagher Premiership after featuring in the Premiership Rugby Cup last weekend following his three-week ban, and Will Spencer also returned to the Premiership coming off the bench in the second row. 

Harlequins made just one change to their XV who secured victory over Gloucester last week with Oscar Beard coming in in the number 13 jersey. 

Bath Rugby: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Will Butt, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer (c); 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Josh Bayliss

Impact players: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Max Green, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Richard de Carpentier

Harlequins: 15 Nick David, 14 Cadan Marley, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Danny Care; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jack Walker, 3 Wilco Louw, 4 Dino Lamb, 5 Irne Herbst, 6 Jack Kenningham, 7 Will Evans, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c)

Replacements: 16 George Head, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 George Hammond, 20 Archie White, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Lennox Anyanwu


first half

Kicking off under the Friday night lights at a very chilly Rec, the game’s first scrum came in the opening minute after pressure from Bath forced a Quins knock-on. 

A strong contest from both packs allowed Ben Spencer to kick the ball downfield for Quins fullback Nick David to break through the Bath line. Earning a scrum just outside the Bath 22, it was Quins captain Alex Dombrandt who got the first score of the game under the posts after a feed from Danny Care, converted cleanly by Tommy Allan.

Bath sent the ball deep from the restart and placed themselves down in Quins 22. David cleared into the stands for Tom Dunn to take the first line out of the evening. Sweeping the ball out through the pack, Ted Hill carried hard and Quins found themselves offside. Orlando Bailey kicked Bath’s first points of the game in front of the sticks sitting the score at 3-7.

Joe Cokanasiga found himself in possession from the restart and brazenly bounced off the Quins defence, but unluckily brought down inside the 22. The slippery conditions allowed Cokanasiga’s offload to go unclaimed allowing Quins to clear their lines. 

Gifting possession back to the visitors, referee Andrew Brace blew for crossing and Bath were soon having to switch to defence mode on their five-metre line. Managing to steal the ball from the line-out but they were pulled up for knocking the ball on.

After sweeping the ball out from the scrum, the visitors were dealt huge blows from Ollie Lawrence forcing Quins to play the long game and eventually claim their second try in the 23rd minute through the hands of outside centre Oscar Beard. With Allan missing the conversion the score sat at 3-12. 

Earning two penalties through Miles Reid and Josh Bayliss turnovers, Orlando Bailey shaved both kicks just wide of the posts and Bath trailed nine points at the break after staving off Quins relentless attack in the closing minutes of the first half. 

second half 

Getting Bath off a strong second half start, Will Butt replicated some of the magic he showed against Leicester and gave Bath their first try of the evening, closing the gap to 10-12. 

Ted Hill soon gave Bath another break and charged up the field galloping towards Quins defenders. Halting Bath’s momentum and holding up Fergus Lee-Warner in tackle, there wasn’t much the lock could do to escape the sandwich tackle and Quins were given a chance to kick to touch. 

Hunting down and interception, Cameron Redpath tried to claim the ball but an unlucky bounce for Bath landed in the hands of a speedy Caden Murley who darted amongst the Bath pack to cross over for Quins’ third, converted by Allan to take the score to 10-19. 

Earning a penalty from the restart, Bailey’s HIA replacement Piers Francis brought the hosts to within half a dozen and sat Bath within losing bonus point territory.  

Putting the Bath defenders to work once again, Quins ate up much of the home territory but it was Joe Cokanasiga and Miles Reid who put a shift in at the breakdown and earned the ball back. 

With Bath safely down in Quins’ half, it was Tom Dunn’s turn to drive through the back of the maul to try and touchdown but a Quins arm under the ball ruled the try out after a check from TMO Brian MacNeice.

Bath emptied their bench as the clock ticked into the 70th minute and big Will Spencer entered the pitch for his 50th cap. 

After marching Harlequins up the field from a Redpath turnover, Bath gifted possession back to the visitors allowing another of their opportunities to go begging.  

Making the most of a loose pass from Quins, Bath’s next chance came as Lawrence booted the ball downfield forcing Quins to kick the ball into touch to eliminate the immediate threat.  

Driving the ball from the back of the maul, Bath replicated their earlier misfortune with look to the TMO to decide if the Blue, Black and White had scored their second. Not to be, Andrew Brace determined it to be another held up scenario and gave Quins the goal line drop out. 

In what looked like another piece of final minute magic, Bath gathered momentum and found themselves with a two man advantage with just 60 seconds on the clock. Trying to hammer on the Quins’ try-line, referee Brace blew after Niall Annett got caught in the tackle and it was Quins who came away with the win.  

Bath earned a losing bonus point from their efforts and will be looking to work on eradicating the unforced errors as they compete in the European Challenge Cup next week against Glasgow Warriors. 


 

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Gloucester Rugby sign 18-year-old South African

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Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby is delighted to announce the signing of South African schoolboy hooker, Gareth Blackmore, who will join the Gloucester Rugby Academy in January.

Blackmore was born in Richard’s Bay near Durban, South Africa, before moving down to Cape Town in 2013. He broke into Rondebosch 1st XV a year early as a hooker, though the dynamic and physical Blackmore is also capable of playing in the back row.

Last year Blackmore captained the Rondebosch Boys’ High School first XV in a season in which they excelled, breaking numerous school 1st XV records. He was subsequently selected for Western Province Schools in South Africa’s provincial tournament, The Craven Week, which Western Province Schools won.

Director of Academy & Development Carl Hogg commented:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have signed Gareth Blackmore in a ground-breaking move. Gareth is a very highly rated young South African player, who has attracted attention from several provincial sides, but with his grandparents born in the UK he has chosen to pursue his professional rugby career here at Gloucester Rugby.

“Gloucester Rugby have linked up with Hartpury University to provide the ideal opportunity for Gareth to benefit from a Premiership training environment but also enable him to study and play in the competitive BUC’s Super Rugby programme.

“We believe that individuals should develop as people as well as players, therefore, this relationship with Hartpury provides the perfect balance of education and professional development.

“We look forward to welcoming Gareth to Kingsholm at the start of the New Year.”

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Internationals return for Saints ahead of Gallagher Premiership trip to Gloucester

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Tommy Freeman, Alex Coles and Sam Matavesi are all set to start Northampton Saints’ clash against Gloucester Rugby this weekend following the conclusion of the Autumn Nations Series.The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon to face the Cherry and Whites in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off: 5.30pm, Live on BT Sport).The hosts will be looking to arrest a run of three straight defeats in the league, with Saints winning two of their last three, but Kingsholm has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Northampton who have won just once in their last six visits to Gloucester in all competitions.Director of Rugby Phil Dowson makes seven changes in total to this starting line-up from the side that beat the Barbarians on home soil last weekend.Lewis Ludlam leads out Northampton having made his return from injury last week, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Coles – capped three times by the Red Rose last month – and No.8 Juarno Augustus, who leads Premiership in metres made in contact (157) so far this season.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon start together in the engine room for Saints for the fourth consecutive league match, while up front, Alex Waller moves into solo-ninth position on the Premiership’s all-time list of appearances in his 246th match in the competition.The loosehead prop will pack down in an experienced front row alongside Fiji hooker Matavesi – back in Black, Green and Gold from international duty – and tighthead prop Paul Hill.Amongst four changes across the back line, James Ramm makes his first Premiership start on the wing, with England internationals George Furbank and Freeman returning at fullback and wing respectively to complete the back three.Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall – who has crossed the gainline more times (56) than any other back in the league so far this season – are preferred in the centres, while Saints’ half-back duo of Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell start together for the third time.Amongst the replacements, there is a return to the Northampton squad for newly-capped David Ribbans – with the likes of Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Tom James, and Matt Proctor also on the bench as Dowson opts for a 6-2 split.GLOUCESTER RUGBY vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTSGallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 12Saturday 3 December 2022Kingsholm StadiumKick-off: 5.30pm15 George Furbank14 James Ramm13 Fraser Dingwall12 Rory Hutchinson11 Tommy Freeman10 Fin Smith9 Alex Mitchell1 Alex Waller2 Sam Matavesi3 Paul Hill4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto5 Alex Moon6 Alex Coles7 Lewis Ludlam (c)8 Juarno AugustusReplacements:16 Robbie Smith17 Emmanuel Iyogun18 Alfie Petch19 David Ribbans20 Angus Scott-Young21 Sam Graham22 Tom James23 Matt ProctorNot considered for selection:Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Mike Haywood, Geordie Irvine, Courtney Lawes, Tom Lockett and Ollie Sleightholme.GLOUCESTER SIDE TO FACE SAINTS15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney; 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Matias Alemanno, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ben MorganReplacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Alex HearleReferee: Ian TempestAssistant referees: Greg Macdonald and John MeredithNo.4: Simon AdamsTMO: Andrew Jackson

Tommy Freeman, Alex Coles and Sam Matavesi are all set to start Northampton Saints’ clash against Gloucester Rugby this weekend following the conclusion of the Autumn Nations Series.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon to face the Cherry and Whites in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off: 5.30pm, Live on BT Sport).

The hosts will be looking to arrest a run of three straight defeats in the league, with Saints winning two of their last three, but Kingsholm has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Northampton who have won just once in their last six visits to Gloucester in all competitions.

Director of Rugby Phil Dowson makes seven changes in total to this starting line-up from the side that beat the Barbarians on home soil last weekend.

Lewis Ludlam leads out Northampton having made his return from injury last week, and the England flanker is joined in the back row by Coles – capped three times by the Red Rose last month – and No.8 Juarno Augustus, who leads Premiership in metres made in contact (157) so far this season.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Alex Moon start together in the engine room for Saints for the fourth consecutive league match, while up front, Alex Waller moves into solo-ninth position on the Premiership’s all-time list of appearances in his 246th match in the competition.

The loosehead prop will pack down in an experienced front row alongside Fiji hooker Matavesi – back in Black, Green and Gold from international duty – and tighthead prop Paul Hill.

Amongst four changes across the back line, James Ramm makes his first Premiership start on the wing, with England internationals George Furbank and Freeman returning at fullback and wing respectively to complete the back three.

Rory Hutchinson and Fraser Dingwall – who has crossed the gainline more times (56) than any other back in the league so far this season – are preferred in the centres, while Saints’ half-back duo of Fin Smith and Alex Mitchell start together for the third time.

Amongst the replacements, there is a return to the Northampton squad for newly-capped David Ribbans – with the likes of Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Tom James, and Matt Proctor also on the bench as Dowson opts for a 6-2 split.

GLOUCESTER RUGBY vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 12
Saturday 3 December 2022
Kingsholm Stadium
Kick-off: 5.30pm

15 George Furbank
14 James Ramm
13 Fraser Dingwall
12 Rory Hutchinson
11 Tommy Freeman
10 Fin Smith
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Paul Hill
4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5 Alex Moon
6 Alex Coles
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 Robbie Smith
17 Emmanuel Iyogun
18 Alfie Petch
19 David Ribbans
20 Angus Scott-Young
21 Sam Graham
22 Tom James
23 Matt Proctor

Not considered for selection:
Matthew Arden, James Fish, James Grayson, Mike Haywood, Geordie Irvine, Courtney Lawes, Tom Lockett and Ollie Sleightholme.

GLOUCESTER SIDE TO FACE SAINTS
15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney; 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Matias Alemanno, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Alex Hearle

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald and John Meredith
No.4: Simon Adams
TMO: Andrew Jackson

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


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