Harlequins 19-22 London Irish: Exiles claim just their second Premiership win of the season

Paddy Jackson helped London Irish storm the palace of the champions as the Exiles won just their second game of the league campaign.

Jackson was not the fly-half a sell-out crowd had bought tickets to see but Harlequin Marcus Smith was rested after his heroics for England.

Irish’s second win in the Premiership, to add to three draws, was not built on the razzle-dazzle usually seen in this corner of London. Instead, it was the cornerstone of rock-solid defence mixed with a dash of emotion.


London Irish secured just their second Premiership win of the season on Saturday


In one frantic period, when Irish held back waves of Quins attack, it was Jackson who pulled off the key tackle on Tyrone Green to stem the tide.

When Irish got into the red zone they capitalised with scores from hooker Agustin Creevy, lock Rob Simmons and replacement scrum-half Ben White.

London Irish head coach Les Kiss said: ‘It was a great derby game and to get away from a draw is nice. Emotion is a massive part of the game and that came through tonight, and defence is all emotion.’

Tries from Agustin Creevy, Rob Simmons and Ben White turned around 14-10 half-time deficit

Harlequins, who led 14-10 at the break, ran in three tries with Oscar Beard scoring twice and Luke Northmore scything through in the 36th minute.

Irish kept knocking them out of their attacking stride, however, and they also had to deal with losing fly-half Tommy Allan, just before the break with a shoulder problem.

Senior coach Tabai Matson said: ‘We didn’t get much rhythm. It’s always the case in these weeks when you have internationals and guys who haven’t played Prem Cup.’