February 7 2012
I got to the Madstad around 30 minutes before kick off. Possibly due to severe weather warnings, traffic in the M25 and M4 was quite clear. I expected many of those who have a long drive to get to reading decided to stay at home, but most of the die hard supporters were there, including Jester Jane and her gang from Southampton and also the Portsmouth lot were there.
At the same time, this was a nothing game, as we needed Tigers to get no points from their home game against Newcastle and we had to beat Glaucester to get through to the next stage in the competition.
We had lost a number of players on international duty, but the team welcomed one of the most charismatic players in the club, Sailosi Tagicakibau, who was sidelined with injury since september.
Irish started dominating the game well, with a few carries from Matt Garvey and Brian Blaney, who made us forget for most of the game how badly we need a beefy number 8 who cam make the hard yards. It was Brian who got us the first try of the game after sprinting for a good 20 meters on the North West corner. Tom Hommer helped the team by slotting three penalties in the first half, going 14-0 at halftime. Quite a few positives in the first half, a couple of touches of class from Losi, who was a bit rusty and dropped a couple of passes, and some very decent play both in defense and attack by our other winger for the day, Adam Thompstone. The rugby was flowing so much that I didn't feel the cold that much, although I was wearing a thermal vest, rugby shirt, fleece and two jackets, so I was ready for a cold second half.
In the second half we didnt score any more tries, Losi looked injured as the Glaucester opposition run through his channel and he couldn't make the tackle, so he was subbed as early as possible to avoid further injury. Let's hope he is ok; he is the kind of player it is worth paying good money to watch. The other main point of interest for me was the cherry and whites fly half, non other than former England captain with links to the royal family Mike Tindall. I do not think he has ever played fly half before today, and it was quite apparent throught the game until he was subbed with under 10 minutes to go. He would "disappear" from the fly half position in attack and missed a kick to touch to the delirium of many an Irish supporter. Anyway, his team managed to score two tries in the second half to none from London Irish, but the Exiles never looked to lose the game thanks to another 3 penalties from Tom Homer. Final result was 23-15 to Irish, and as Tigers beat Newcastle 24-15 we are not to progress to the play-offs of the LV cup. Only the premiership to play for, with a very important game against our local rivals Harlequins, who this time have got a few players away playing for their countries in the 6 nations.
I usually stay for the Craic, but as it started to snow in the last minute of the game, I rushed home to fall asleep in front of the telly while the Scotland v England game was on.
White Sow surley