SA-born Lewies sees red as London Irish dismantle Harlequins
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Michael Dykes ran in a debut hat-trick as London Irish took the derby day spoils in a 42-24 home win over Harlequins.
It was young English forward Chandler Cunningham-South who initiated the try fest from a maul before Dykes grabbed his first of the day with his first involvement on his Premiership debut.
A Harlequins penalty try saw Dykes sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on but James Stokes’ expert anticipation to collect a bouncing ball led to the Exiles’ third try by the 21st minute.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Stephan Lewies was sent off for a dangerous clearout on Cunningham-South.
However, Tommaso Allan crossed to reduce the arrears with Dykes still waiting to return.
The young wing’s superb finish when he did rejoin the action wrapped up the bonus point and his sensational hat-trick was complete shortly after the break.
Harlequins threatened a comeback through Josh Bassett and Dino Lamb, but a yellow card for Joe Marler in the 70th minute handed the hosts the advantage with Tom Pearson putting the result beyond all doubt as Paddy Jackson kicked his sixth conversion from six.
London Irish hat-trick debutant Michael Dykes said: “I think it’s just about being switched on to how the play is unfolding. Like with the first one, I know Tom Pearson is going to break a tackle so I just got on his shoulder.
“The second one, we know that Quins like to shoot up on the edge. We’ve worked on it quite hard in training with wingers coming back to the ball and being alert.
“I’ve been frustrated quite a few times this year but I think our coaches are very good at keeping us ready, so when we do get the opportunity we can take it.”
For London Irish
Tries: Cunningham-South, Dykes 3, Stokes, Pearson
Cons: Jackson 6
Tries: Penalty try, Allan, Bassett, Lamb
Yellow cards: Michael Dykes (London Irish, 19); Joe Marler (Harlequins, 69).
Red card: Stephan Lewies (Harlequins, 21)
London Irish: 15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South, 7 Tom Pearson, 6 Matt Rogerson (captain), 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Nick David, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Lawday, 7 Will Evans, 6 Stephan Lewies (captain), 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 George Head, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Jack Musk, 17 Fin Baxter, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 James Chisholm, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Lennox Anyanwu
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Joe James (England)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)