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Aviva Premiership: London Irish spring a surprise away at Gloucester
- Mallinder faces Saints fears
- Gold hails Eastmond talent
- Smith sets survival target
- Cockerill: We'll protect Croft
London Irish boosted their Aviva Premiership survival hopes with a battling 18-12 victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Irish lock George Skivington bagged two tries against the Cherry and Whites, who could only muster four Freddie Burns penalties in reply.
The away win, the Exiles' first of the season, takes them five points above bottom club Sale Sharks, who tackle Saracens on Sunday. In contrast, a losing bonus point was scant consolation for Gloucester as a four-month unbeaten home record disappeared.
Burns booted Gloucester into a second-minute lead, yet Irish were not daunted by the size of their task. After Steven Shingler landed an equalising penalty they deservedly went ahead when, after a spell of concerted pressure, Skivington powered over for Irish's first try for almost five hours of Premiership rugby.
Shingler missed the conversion, but Irish continued to grow in confidence and capitalised on another Gloucester blunder after Burns had kicked his second penalty.
Gloucester wing Shane Monahan was the guilty party, making a hash of trying to gather the ball just inside the home 22, and Irish scrum-half Pat Phibbs scrambled possession away to allow Skivington to cross unopposed.
Shingler landed the conversion, and Gloucester could have few complaints about a 15-6 interval deficit as Irish threatened a first Premiership triumph on their travels since they won at Worcester last April.
The only blot on Irish's landscape was an injury to England squad hooker David Paice, who limped off on the stroke of half-time and was replaced by former Gloucester forward Scott Lawson.
Burns added two further penalties after the break to keep Gloucester in contention, however Tom Homer's late three points killed off their hopes of a turnaround.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 14th September|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Saturday 20th September|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|Saturday 11th October|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com