Match Centre: London Irish 20-17 Worcester Warriors

Paddy Jackson landed the longest penalty kick of the Premiership season
Paddy Jackson landed the longest penalty kick of the Premiership season

London Irish 20-17 Worcester Warriors, Community Stadium

Paddy Jackson kicked the decisive penalty from 61 yards in the 74th minute as London Irish edged out Worcester Warriors 20-17 in the 13th round of the Gallagher Premiership at Community Stadium.

The game entered the final 10 minutes with scores levelled at 17-17 and that's when Jackson landed the longest penalty of the Premiership season to take his team through.

This was also fifth win for London Irish in the competition as they move to sixth place in the table while Worcester Warriors are languishing at the bottom after losing their 10th match from 13 games.

The opening five minutes saw Jackson and Billy Searle exchanged penalties but the home side seized the lead in the 9th minute when Ben Meehan dived over the line following a line-out. Jackson kicked the conversion to take them to a 10-3 lead.

Just before the end of the first quarter, Worcester lost Conor Carey to a bicep injury with Richard Palframan taking his place. The problems compounded for the visitors when they lost Matt Kvesic to sin-bin in the 33rd minute and immediately the home side kicked the penalty to the corner and pressed for an attack resulting in which Steve Mafi going over. Jackson slotted the extras they finished the opening half with a 17-3 lead.

Worcester were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Ashley Beck and Kvesic combined to send Niall Annett over for their opening try of the game that came in the 49th minute and Searle improved to reduce the arrears to seven points.

Alan Solomons' side were presented with another opportunity as London Irish lost replacement Nick Phipps to yellow card and with the numerical advantage on their side, Justin Clegg powered his way from close range with Searle's conversion ensuring the scores were levelled at 17-17 before Jackson's heroics in the 74th minute sealed the game for the Exiles with a three-point victory.

Team line-up:

London Irish: Stokes; Loader, Rona, Brophy-Clews, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Meehan; Goodrick-Clarke, Creevy, Chawatama, Mafi, Simmons, Rogerson, Cowan, Tuisue.

Reserves: Cornish, Gigena, Hoskins, Nott, Donnell, Phipps, Joseph, Homer.

Worcester: David; Humphreys, Venter, Beck, Howe; Searle, Hougaard; Waller, Annett, Carey, A Kitchener, Clegg, Hill), Kvesic, Batley.

Reserves: Miller, M Thomas, Schonert, Dodd, du Preez, Simpson, Smith, O Morris.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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