LV= Cup: London Irish surge past Worcester Warriors
London Irish crushed Worcerster 46-24 at the Madejski Stadium to stay on course for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup.
Last Updated: 27/01/13 9:01pm
Marland Yarde was the star performer with a hat-trick of tries, while Halani Aulika crossed twice and Tom Homer kicked 16 points in a deserved win for the hosts.
Worcester scored three second-half tries but, after trailing 22-3 at the break, they had little hope of getting anything out of the game.
The Exiles' win puts them top of Pool Three and they travel to Cardiff for their final game next Friday knowing a bonus-point win would guarantee their berth in the next round.
Worcester took the lead after only three minutes when Danny Gray kicked a penalty, but Irish were quickly level when Sailosi Tagicakibau powered past two defenders forcing the visitors to concede a penalty which Homer kicked.
Irish scored the first try when a chip ahead by Shane Geraghty was not dealt with by the visitors' defence, allowing Yarde to collect the loose ball, setting up a ruck from which Aulika emerged to brush past a weak tackle from Ceri Jones to run in unopposed.
Irish maintained the pressure and from a lineout five metres out Aulika drove over for his second try which Homer converted.
Further missed tackles enabled the home side to gain a platform in the opposition 22 from which another chip through from Geraghty saw Yarde win the race for the touchdown, securing a 22-3 interval lead.
Within minutes of the restart Homer extended the Irish lead with his second penalty but the Warriors responded as Danny Gray darted over from close range for a try which he converted, with Irish suffering a further blow with a yellow card for George Skivington.
However, back came the Irish to seal victory with their bonus-point try when Alex Gray was driven over from a lineout, with Homer converting from the touchline.
Worcester responded with a try from David Lemi, but Yarde evaded two tackles to score his second try and then, after the Warriors had crossed again with a score from James Percival, he completed his hat-trick with a thrilling individual effort.