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Booth - We deserved it
London Irish coach hails massive win over Munster
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Toby Booth believed London Irish deserved their 23-17 victory over Munster in the Heineken Cup.
The hosts won their Pool 3 opener thanks to Topsy Ojo's try and kicks from Ryan Lamb and Delon Armitage, while Ronan O'Gara kicked four penalties and Sam Tuitupou notched a last-gasp touch down to earn a losing bonus point which could prove vital for the visitors.
Afterwards Booth expressed his delight at the memorable victory, despite conceding the losing bonus point.
He said: "I'm thrilled, absolutely delighted and the losing bonus point might turn out to be relevant down the line, but I do not want that issue to cloud what was a memorable night for this club.
"I believe that if you win your games then losing bonus points become irrelevant. This was a massive occasion and a massive effort, an occasion that the fans enjoyed and will remember for some time.
"We played with our heads and our hearts tonight, something we don't always do. We sometimes get one without the other, but this time the guys got everything together for a deserved victory against a very fine team.
"We all know what a box of tricks Ryan Lamb can be, but in this huge game he showed great maturity in the way he controlled things and kicked his goals with authority.
"Yes, we made little errors under pressure, but there is no such thing as the perfect performance. However, given what Munster bring to any party, not least a great Heineken Cup pedigree, I'll take that result any day."
London Irish lock Bob Casey was also happy with the victory but rued the fact that Munster escaped the Madejski Stadium with a point.
Casey said: "Letting them go home with that point is very disappointing.
"But we are learning from the hurt of how we faded away towards the end of last season. If I'm honest I doubt we'd have won this game last season, so that's a measure of the progress we are making.
"I do know that Dave Ellis, our defence coach, is wearing a huge smile right now because that was one of our best defensive performances for some time."
Munster coach Tony McGhan admitted his team did not touch their usual European heights.
He said: "The nature of this pool, and the class of those in it, means that any point won away from home is very important.
"Overall, we are disappointed with our first half display, too many mistakes, too many penalties conceded. London Irish played smart rugby and deserved their win.
"People must remember that this is very nearly Test match rugby, so every error tends to be punished. But ultimately, we were denied by two great pieces of defence by Irish when we were virtually over their line.
"Those hits were crucial to the outcome because they came when we were pushing them backwards yard by yard."
Lions and Ireland fly-half O'Gara also did not believe Munster deserved to win.
He said: "I don't believe we deserved more than we got. We were not accurate enough and the only consolation is that we never give up, and that late surge may yet be massively important.
"I'm concerned that our discipline wasn't good enough and we lacked ruthlessness in the green team's area. London Irish won on merit, we need to be better next time out."