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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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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com