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Wallaby wing inspires London Irish

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Wallaby wing inspires London Irish to victory at Harlequins

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Curtis Rona crossed for a double as London Irish secured back-to-back away wins in the Gallagher Premiership for the first time in six years with an impressive 29-15 victory at Harlequins.

In miserable conditions at the Stoop, the Exiles made the most of Storm Dennis blowing at their backs in the first half as Matt Rogerson and former Wallaby Rona both went over.

Quins trailed 17-3 at the interval and, although newly-crowned player-of-the-month Alex Dombrandt reduced arrears with a now-customary solo score in the second half, Rona’s second put Irish in control.

Cadan Murley went over late on for the hosts, but Irish cemented a bonus-point win, three weeks on from stunning Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens, when Oli Hoskins went over at the death.

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From the outset the wind caused havoc, Martin Landajo’s opening box kick coming back to him on the breeze inside his own 22.

Despite the tricky conditions under foot – the Stoop turf looked chewed up from the outset – Irish scored two well-worked tries in the opening quarter.

First Stephen Myler’s up and under befuddled the Quins backfield and was claimed by youngster Ben Donnell – a late inclusion for the ill Blair Cowan – and when the ball was spread right Rogerson went over.

Smith’s first penalty trimmed the lead to 7-3 on the quarter hour as Quins tried to get going, but Irish manufactured an impressive second score soon after.

Ben Meehan nipped clear and found Rona on his shoulder to coast under the posts, Myler making no mistake once again and all of a sudden Irish were 14-3 to the good.

Dombrandt was kept pretty quiet in the opening stanza until it looked like he had laid on Quins’ first score for Ross Chisholm with a searing break and offload. But the TMO ruled it out for obstruction and, when Myler banged over a penalty, the visitors led 17-3 at the interval.

Quins were with the wind in the second half and needed to start fast.

Irish were largely penned in but it took the introduction of Danny Care to get Quins on the board, his quick tap releasing Dombrandt to muscle defenders out the way and get over.

Smith converted to make it a one-score game at 17-10 but from then on Quins were profligate and Rona punished them.

Brett Herron had impressed initially off the bench but he dallied collecting Rona’s kick after a rare Irish attack and the former Wallaby charged down Herron’s clearance, collected and scored to effectively seal the contest.

Murley slid over in the left corner late on, but Hoskins struck from a rolling maul at the death for a fourth score and a bonus point.

PA

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Wallaby wing inspires London Irish to victory at Harlequins
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