London Irish 46 - 24 Worcester

Match info: Anglo-Welsh Cup at Madejski Stadium

Date: 27/01/2013 KO: 15:00 Att: 5,038

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

London Irish

TriesAulika (14, 30) Yarde (40, 67, 78) Gray (56)ConversionsHomer (14, 30, 52, 67, 78)PenaltiesHomer (9, 44)



TriesGray (53) Lemi (63) Percival (74)ConversionsGray (53) Goode (63, 74)PenaltiesGray (3)

FT (ht: 22-3)

  • Last Updated: January 27 2013, 18:28 GMT

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith was left with a selection headache after his team gave themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the LV= Cup with a 46-24 win over Worcester.

Marland Yarde: Hat-trick hero is on the England radar
Marland Yarde: Hat-trick hero is on the England radar

Marland Yarde was the star performer with a hat-trick of tries, while Halani Aulika collected a brace of scores and Tom Homer kicked 16 points in a deserved victory for the hosts.

The result put Irish top of Pool Three, and they travel to Cardiff for their final game next Friday knowing a bonus-point win would guarantee their berth in the next round.

"We intended to take a development squad to Cardiff next weekend for the final group game and concentrate on our vital Premiership game against the Saracens in a fortnight's time, but now we will have to sit down and have a rethink as we have got a real chance of playing in the knockout stages of a tournament," Smith said.

Smith was hugely impressed with his team's six-try display - Danny Gray also darted over at the Madejski Stadium.

"We were very good in the first half as defensively we gave them nothing putting pressure on their nine and 10," he said.

"We stayed on their tails but we were a bit ropey in defence when we made our changes and there are no excuses for that."

Yarde's treble earned him particular praise from his coach.

"Marland's performance was electric," Smith added. "I have spoken to (England head coach) Stuart Lancaster about him as there is not another winger in the country who would have scored that try. It was as if his hair was on fire."

Worcester scored three second-half tries but, after trailing 22-3 at the break, they had little hope of getting anything out of the game.

The defeat virtually extinguished their hopes of advancing, leaving them bottom of Pool Two with five points.

Despite the heavy loss, coach Richard Hill remained upbeat.

"Parts of our play were very encouraging," he said. "Our set-piece was strong and we scored three tries away from home.

"However, we leaked tries too easily and our defence was a problem. Our defence analyst, Phil Larder, has been away for three weeks and he will be back on Tuesday.

"We missed a lot of ball-carriers today as we kept players back, but we will be fielding a full-strength side against the Saracens next week in readiness for the return to Premiership action."

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