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Exiles scalp Ospreys to stop the rot

IT may be too soon to talk of a resurgence, but London Irish will hope this victory -- while it could do nothing to breathe life into their already terminally ill Heineken Cup campaign -- will at least allow them to fill their hearts with hope once again.

There were a few uncomfortable moments in the final quarter, as the Ospreys desperately fought to keep their qualifying hopes alive. Toulon's victory over Munster had meant that a victory for the Welsh region would have set up a winner-takes-all encounter against the French side at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Yet the Ospreys' performance was too riddled with errors to pose any threat to London Irish, even with the home side's hooker James Buckland in the sin-bin for the final 10 minutes.

Having watched in alarm as his side's season collapsed with 10 successive defeats in all competitions, London Irish head coach Toby Booth, could be forgiven for his beaming smile last night as a try in each half by Sailosi Tagicakibau and Topsy Ojo helped seal only their second victory in Pool 3, along with their opening day win over Munster.

For the first time since 2007, there is now little chance of any Welsh side in the last eight and Wales coach Warren Gatland will have taken little heart from the contest. Wales prop Adam Jones had to retire at half-time with an elbow injury, making him doubtful for their Six Nations opener against England. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent