Exiles snatch dramatic win over 14-man Saints
MATCH REPORT: Dave Porecki’s late try gave London Irish a dramatic victory over 14-man Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
After losing Piers Francis to a nasty looking injury early on, the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute when Oliver Hassell-Collins dotted down after a powerful Irish scrum under the posts.
*As it happened: Northampton Saints v London Irish
They were good for it too, dominating possession but James Grayson’s penalty got the hosts on the board and, after Ben Meehan was sent to the sinbin for a tip tackle, Saints made their opponents pay.
After peeling from the back of a driving lineout Jacobus Reinach darted over to put Northampton in the lead for the first time.
The course of the match changed in the second half though when Apisalome Ratuniyarawa was sent off for Saints for a high clearance at a ruck.
This brought heaps of Irish pressure, despite the visitors losing Nick Phipps to the sinbin for ten minutes, but a remarkable last-gasp Reinach tackle denied Hassell- Collins scoring his second to reduce the gap.
But, with eight minutes left, the visitors got to within one point when Franco van der Merwe crossed the whitewash.
And, after coming so close without success in the dying minutes, the visitors pulled off a sensational win when Porecki picked up on the scraps after Adam Coleman charged a loose ball down.
For Northampton Saints:
Pens: Grayson 3
For London Irish:
Tries: Hassell-Collins, Van Der Merwe, Porecki
Yellow cards: Ben Meehan (London Irish, 25), Nick Phipps (London Irish, 61)
Red card: Api Ratuniyarawa (Northampton Saints, 49)
Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 James Grayson, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Teimana Harrison (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Ben Franks
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 JJ Tonks, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Andrew Symons, 23 Tom Collins
London Irish: 15 James Stokes, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Matt Rogerson, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Franco van der Merwe (captain), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Harry Elrington
Replacements: 16 Ben Atkins, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Tom Stephenson, 23 Matt Williams
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Andrew Jackson.
TMO: Rowan Kitt.
The Exiles have done it 🤯😍
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 24, 2020