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Brian Smith says red card for Chris Hala'ufia the key moment in London Irish defeat
London Irish coach Brian Smith said the sending off of his No 8 Chris Hala'ufia was the turning point of his team's 15-9 Aviva Premiership defeat at London Welsh.
The basement battle at the Kassam Stadium was ruined as a contest by the 10th-minute sending-off of Hala'ufia for a dangerous tip tackle.
Smith said: "I thought it was a perfectly executed tackle. The referee made a big call as he was not 100 per cent sure of the decision as he had to check with his touch judge.
"I would like to see the rugby league system brought in where a tackle like that goes on report and is assessed afterwards."
Lyn Jones, his Welsh counterpart, said: "There was no malice in the tackle but the referee's hands are tied. It was very similar to the Sam Warburton incident in the World Cup when the Welsh captain was sent off."
Despite the loss of Hala'ufia and a subsequent yellow card for Matt Garvey, the Irish battled to the end and nearly pulled off an unlikely win.
"It was an unbelievably gutsy effort and could have been a gutsy victory,"Smith added. "We are not happy but we have salvaged a bonus point.
"I'm not going to blame the referee for our loss as we weren't precise enough and we lost 15 points with missed kicks."
The match was a poor spectacle with neither side having the creativity to break down the opposition's defence and it was left to Gordon Ross to secure victory for his side with five penalty goals.
"All wins are good wins but our ill-discipline cost us dearly," Jones said. "We were good value for the win and they scrapped hard for their bonus point.
"Our defensive structure was very good and we are targeting six wins for survival, so with four wins so far we are well on target."Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Northampton vs Exeter|
|15:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com