I think it’s, the first time i’ve ever seen a full london irish game. They couldn’t quite get it done. It was a battle of two of the teams towards the bottom of the premiership. Was it worth getting up for a five o’clock in the morning game here in new zealand? Maybe not, but it was a close game. If nothing else, i feel, like leicester are probably ruining quite a few missed chances and irish will have felt. Maybe they could have snuck it at the end, but not quite to be i’ll go through some of the key points in the game, some of my takeaways from it and the stats, and as always, you guys can. Let me know your thoughts as well. So, as i said, kind of two teams towards the bottom end of the table, uh, i thought maybe there would be a few more points scored, but it was actually defense. That was the order of the day. Neither side’s attack really seemed to click. Maybe that is due to the league position. You know both these sides. I haven’t been doing that well, um from what some of you guys have told me, london, irish i’ve got a few injuries and to be fair, i know they’ve had a few big name signings. None of which really seem to be in the lineups today nandola was the biggest um debutant on on debut for uh for leicester today, so i was keen to see how he went.

He did all right, but it was the other winger who got the try uh in david williams, but yeah. It started off with with a potential opportunity for lester in the corner, but they ended up in touch and lest they’re getting opportunities to score a try and not being able to convert them seems to be very much a troubling aspect of this game. I guess it’s nice to create those chances, but if you don’t convert them, you leave yourself in a position where the opposition can potentially sneak in. At the end. They kick the penalty on seven minutes to make it three nil wells went off with an hia which he failed on nine minutes, which is disappointing. You never like a guy to go off for that reason, especially that early in the game. But what can you do? Uh there were a lot of scrums. They were flinging the ball around, but there were like a lot of turnovers intercepts. Just loose carries so yeah it wasn’t really clicking in terms of the the actual action uh tom young looked to have scored the first try on 21 minutes for leicester from five meters out, but they said no, he was held up and looked like. There was a boot under the ball, so a good review by the tmo. However, on 24 minutes they did manage to get it done. Uh it was from a scrum and it was messy like young’s out.

The back of the scrum barely got the ball away, as he was kind of hounded and there was like a nandolo pass quickly. It was kind of loose, but they still managed to find enough space for david williams out on the right wing. So try on debut for him, uh yeah, congratulations, it’s, a good way to make your mark on the game early. They converted it to make it 10 nil and they’re. Looking pretty comfortable london, irish haven’t really been threatening uh leicester’s defense. Up until that point, they did have their best chances. Irish, in the like fast, like, like the last 10 minutes of that um that first half they had uh, they won a penalty. They decided to opt for a line out, so they had like a liner. Eight meters out nothing came of it then another line out like on the 22 of leicester, but nothing came of it and um yeah they couldn’t. Quite they couldn’t quite get anything done. All their moves were failing and their attack was kind of blunted by half time. You’Re, looking at the stats like london, irish got plenty of ball, 65 position, 59 percent territory, but leicester kicking it back to them. The kickstream hand is 19 to 11, with less they have and more uh. Both sides tackling at 90, which is really impressive, but with the loose passes and whatnot it’s kind of not that unexpected that they’re not able to create opportunities to really beat defenders.

So 75 tackles made by leicester 45 by irish, and i was thinking like with the lineups compared to the games that these teams have played on the weekend. I thought last 20 minutes are going to be tough for london. Irish, if they’re, you know, got tired legs from from a less fresh side like leicester, should have the fresher team towards the end of the game. But the fact that leicester are having to make more tackles maybe kind of cancels that out, because that is hard to work. Um knock ons, four to one with leicester, making four uh penalties considered five to two with london. Irish making more so again, both sides are having their issues. Second, half leicester get held up early uh, they win a penalty though, and they kick it to make it 13 points to nil, but that’s another chance that you would have rather be five or seven, but it ends up being three uh 50 minutes. Nandolo looks to get his try on debut as well, but it’s called back that one. The tmo finds like a knock on. It seems to go forward um in the build up tour, so that’s an unfortunate one for him, because he had hit the ball uh at proper pace and looked to go over, but not choked off. Uh leicester get yellow carded on 50 and 55 minutes uh. London. Irish actually had a really good opportunity, close to leicester’s lion they’re, taking a quick tap and i think he tackled a guy without retreating back, so yeah prevented a tri scoring opportunity so yellow card for him.

This is really a chance, you’re thinking man, if a london irish can’t score here with an extra man like five meters out from the leicester’s line, then there’s no hope for them to get any points in this game and they were loose in the build up like At one point it looked like they were about to go into touch, but they managed to get it back out. Eventually, uh they get held up from a scrum, but they get another crack at it and uh they try a cross kick which is a bit of a shocker from patty jackson, nothing’s quite firing, but they get another crack at it, and eventually ben meehan gets a Try um yeah it’s like a meter after a bunch of phases. He just stops the ball. Uh down. Tmo takes a look. It says it’s all good, so that’s, leicester, uh, considering their first points, yellow card period, seven nil, scores, thirteen seven that’s the way, it’s gon na finish, but uh there’s still a bit of time for for them to go down unless they have one more try chalked Off which i think makes at least like the third try chalked off um before before full time so 67 minutes. They said that there was an obstruction from an offside player, so he wouldn’t have made a difference, but the fact that he was offside is what he gets penalized for and uh yeah the rest of the game, kind of peters out, there’s, one more chance for for Irish as they’re just starting to get the ball down lester’s in with about four minutes to go, but they get turned over way too many times in this game, but they get turned over the breakdown, not looking after the pill and um yeah, unless they’re just able To recycle the ball and run the clock down at the end, so yeah it finishes tight.

If london irish had gone through a few more phases, it would have made for a grandstanding finish, but not to be in the end less to get it done. 13 points to seven. They will really really be disappointed with all those chances they couldn’t quite take um irish be disappointed. They couldn’t couldn’t, quite pinch it at the end. Final stats, like i mentioned irish, had more ball 62 position. 63 territory. Leicester still kicked more 31. Kicks to 21. uh, they knocked the ball on more or less than five to two, but they didn’t concede. As many penalties. Irish had ten to less than seven you’d have to say unless the scrum was really getting on top for the majority of the game. It was a bit of an issue for london. Irish, both sides line ups. They were pretty okay, there were a few loose ones, but the overall, like completion rate for the line outs, was pretty high. Uh run meters 220 to 293, with irish having more but, as i said, they kicked it less. They were trying to offload their 21 offloads to is eight both sides tackling percentages in the 90s 93 for leicester 92 for irish. But if both attacks are not really firing, it does make it easier for the the defenses to keep up those high tackling rates. But leicester made 154 irish 118, so they had to do a bit of defensive work to the leicester, uh individuals.

Six runs for 50 run. Meters is a solid return. Beat two defenders. Liebenberg, though, was uh defensively on on song um 17 out of 18 tackles for him. Curtis rona was the biggest threat for irish. With 57 run meters, two defenders beat down a clean break, but um yeah, someone said in the live stream. Both of these sides are pretty fortunate that series are getting relegated because neither of them look to fire and that’s, probably fair, but yeah it’s still only the third game back. It was a midweek game, so maybe it’s a bit hard to judge them too too. Strictly, i do think leicester probably could have had more points in this one, but let too many points slip and uh yeah. It was good to see london irish competing right to the end, to try and nick it, but couldn’t quite get it done you guys. Let me know your thoughts on the game. The bathroom northampton game is on at the minute, so i’ll see if i can watch that, as i start the old day job now that it’s 7 20 in the morning here in new zealand but yeah. As i said, it was an interesting one uh, if not a classic. It was still a decent watch for me because it was a tight game in the end, but um yeah.