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Aviva Premiership: London Irish bank key win over lacklustre Worcester
London Irish took another major step towards Aviva Premiership survival with a comfortable win over a disappointing Worcester at the Madejski Stadium.
With this win Irish have at present a 10-point cushion over bottom club London Welsh and a five-point lead over 11th-placed Sale, with Irish still having to play those two clubs at home in their remaining four fixtures.
The game was a disappointing one for the annual St Patrick's celebration which saw an attendance of 19,523.
Play was of little interest until Irish took a 10th-minute lead. The home side won a line-out on the opposition 22 and had little difficulty in driving over the Worcester line with Matt Garvey the try-scorer. Tom Homer's conversion kick sailed wide.
The Warriors had the better of the next ten undistinguished minutes before the hosts went further ahead with Worcester having no answer to Irish's driving maul.
Another 25-metre drive was illegally hauled down by the Warriors but moments later Irish were over again, this time from close range, with Halani Aulika the beneficiary.
Worcester had their first chance of points with Andy Goode making no mistake with his penalty but this was soon nullified with a first success from Homer for the Irish.
Irish extended their lead with a simple penalty from Homer but when George Skivington was offside at a ruck, Goode was on target for the Warriors to leave them 16-6 adrift at the interval.
Within three minutes of the restart, Irish scored a crucial try. They softened up the Warriors' defence with another line-out drive and from the resulting scrum Chris Hala'ufia powered over for the try which Homer converted.
Moments later Irish produced the best movement of the match with splendid inter-passing sending Ian Humphreys deep into the visitors' 22 - but a careless pass prevented the fourth try for London Irish.
Homer's third penalty gave the hosts a match-winning 26-6 advantage with half an hour remaining, before the game returned to mediocrity with Worcester never threatening to claw back into the game.
Worcester dominated the last half hour in terms of territory and possession but lacked any creativity to break down a stubborn Irish defence as the game petered away into a tame finish.
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com