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Paddy Jackson the inspiration as London Irish snap losing streak

By PA
(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Paddy Jackson’s game-changing try helped London Irish to their second Gallagher Premiership win of the season as they beat Newcastle Falcons 39-17 at Gtech Community Stadium. James Stokes opened the scoring, with Mateo Carreras striking back just minutes later for the visitors, but two Jackson penalties gave Irish the lead at the break.

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After half-time, a Brett Connon penalty and Guy Pepper try put Newcastle in front, but Jackson and Lucio Cinti scored to restore the Irish lead. With ten minutes remaining, Adam Coleman powered over from close range to wrap up the win before Cinti scored his second try of the afternoon.

The pendulum swung back and forth in the first five minutes but after Irish won a penalty at the scrum, Jackson opted to kick for the corner rather than take a shot at goal. Falcons were able to disrupt the lineout drive but when the ball went wide, Stokes broke through three tackles to score the game’s first try.

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Adam Radwan helped Falcons strike back, shirking off Will Joseph’s tackle on a move off a lineout before feeding Carreras, with the Argentina international crossing unchallenged in the corner. However, Jackson then kicked two penalties to give Irish a 13-7 lead at the break.

Falcons had a spring in their step after the restart, winning a penalty at a scrum on the halfway line before kicking to the corner. Dave Walder’s side opted to send the ball out wide rather than set up a lineout drive, but after winning a penalty underneath the posts, Connon reduced the deficit to three points.

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Ben Stevenson won Falcons another penalty deep inside the Irish half after his line break forced the hosts into an infraction at the breakdown and from the resulting lineout drive, Pepper crossed the whitewash to put Falcons ahead for the first time in the game.

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Irish were not out of it yet, though, and with 26 minutes remaining, Jackson got on the end of Ollie Hassell-Collins’ offload before scoring underneath the posts to restore his side’s three-point lead. Second-half replacement Cinti scored his first Gallagher Premiership try of the season on the hour, cutting in off his wing to get the better of the Falcons defence and put his side eight points ahead.

Cinti then made a crucial intervention in defence, intercepting a pass before it could reach Carreras, who looked certain to score a try. Coleman broke through Pepper’s tackle to give Irish an unassailable lead with ten minutes remaining, with Tom Penny being shown yellow for an infringement in the build-up.

And Cinti scored his second in the corner as Irish took complete control of the game in the closing stages to wrap up a 39-17 bonus-point win.

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