Monday 5 December 2016

Exiles fall just short

London Irish 19 Racing Metro 25

Published 18/12/2011 | 05:00

London Irish gave themselves a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals after Racing Metro bounced back from their loss in Paris last week by winning in Reading.

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Racing wing Sereli Bobo crossed for a try and outhalf Jonathan Wisniewski kicked 20 points with three penalties, three drop-goals and a conversion to settle the clash. Hooker David Paice got a try for London Irish with the last move of the game and wing Tom Homer kicked 14 points with four penalties and a conversion, but the hosts fell short.

Just two games ago, the Exiles were all but out of the competition after a one-point home loss to Edinburgh and a 24-18 defeat at Cardiff Blues left them with just two points. However, last week's superb and unexpected four-try, bonus point victory over Racing brought Toby Booth's side right back into the mix, only for them to fall over again at home.

The first period was a kicking contest as Homer landed four penalties, while Wisniewski punished persistent home errors with points for a 15-12 half-time lead for Racing. Irish needed tries for another bonus point, but it was Racing who seized the initiative in the second half. Wisniewski dropped a third goal after 50 minutes before the opening try of the match came when Bobo kicked on a dropped ball from an Irish player and sped away under the posts to make his stand-off's conversion easy.

At that point, Irish were bottom of their pool and, although they mounted a fightback towards the end, the Racing pack kept them at bay despite the Exiles getting a try right on the whistle.

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