“For me we have played our first game and in the trajectory of new Worcester if we didn’t fulfil our fixture we were out of it, we were fucked. “We managed to play the fixture and we need to improve. I don’t think the other 12 clubs give a shit whether we are here or not so it is important I get the team to perform. " Teams London Irish: J. Stokes; W.
Joseph got in on the action too, but Worcester would not be prevented from opening their account. England international Curtis Langdon was the player with that first score, good field positioning and a series of hard carries allowing the former Irish player to go over under the sticks. With Owen Williams adding the conversion, once the game was resumed there was a renewed energy for the visiting side. While Jamie Shillcock would add another score for the men from the West Midlands, it was sandwiched between those for Agustin Creevy and a game-ending effort for Arundell, who was fed the ball in the corner after a lineout maul that went nowhere. As has been the case so often in recent memory, it was two of London Irish’s brightest stars who has the biggest say on proceedings.
“It’s a work in progress but better that than no work. We’ve played our first game and getting them out today was the most important thing because if we didn’t fulfil our fixture today we were out of it. ”London Irish fans show their support and solidarity with Worcester as uncertainty shrouds the West Midlands club’s future. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty ImagesWorcester, to their credit, began with a ferocious intensity – all that tension washing off the players’ shoulders as soon as they crossed the whitewash. Ollie Lawrence, fit again after a torrid time of it last season, was to the fore, busting the Irish line, but for all their territory and possession, they never really threatened the try-line.
Beginning well, Diamond’s side camped themselves in London Irish’s 22m, but found themselves unable to make early pressure pay, a turnover for Ollie Hassell-Collins just one way in which Warriors were thwarted. It was a missed kick to touch that led to the opening try. James Stokes kept the ball in play before finding an Ollie Hassell-Collins who was in red-hot form all afternoon. The wing drifted across the Warriors defence before finding Benhard van Rensburg, who in turn passed out wide to his midfield teammate, Curtis Rona on the wing.
Steve Diamond said the next few days could bring good news on that front but was wary of getting hopes up at this stage. “Somebody said that in the next 72 hours there may be some news of a potential investor, ” he said. “It’s a boost but we don’t want a false dawn. I have to appear bullish because if I don’t and [the players] are not getting paid they capitulate and that’s what we don’t want them to do.
TRU’s Player of the Match, Ollie Hassell-Collins, was one of the topics of conversation when Les Kiss, Irish’s head coach, was presented to media post-match, the 23-year-old’s influence on the game apparent for all to see, having been heavily involved in numerous of his team’s scores, as well as crossing the try line himself. “He has been [influential] for a couple of years now, ” Kiss said. “There has been another growth in Ollie in the offseason.
Bath had looked to be heading towards victory but a late try from Will Capon, converted by AJ MacGinty, proved to be the difference. The match had been rescheduled from Friday night and no television match official was available. The game was not without controversy, Bath’s unused replacement Niall Annett shown a red card by the referee, Matthew Carley, for joining a touchline mêlée.
Tabai Matson, the Harlequins director of rugby, praised his team’s resolve as they edged out Newcastle 40-31 at Kingston Park. In a game of 11 tries Quins emerged victorious thanks to two late scores from Alex Dombrandt and the replacement Joe Marchant. Matson said: “We were on the ropes at times but we created enough opportunities in the game. ” PA MediaWill Joseph added the fifth after pouncing on the loose ball before Curtis Langdon scored from close range to get the visitors on the board.
He’s been more vocal and more direct. He’s a dangerous beast when he opens up. ” Perhaps as expected, there was plenty of attention on Steve Diamond at the full-time whistle. It was a tough afternoon for his side, who gave away plenty of penalties, but did manage to get on the scoreboard as the game wore on. With all that surrounds Worcester, the actual result has little bearing on the side’s future, their very existence on the line. “Somebody said earlier in the next 72 hours there may be some news of a potential investor but I am being used as a conduit for all and sundry over the last month, ” Diamond said. “The communication lined need to be open and regular, and I am good at that. The communication lines from the owners to me have been good, but they are still in the mire of trying to find someone to buy this club and invest into it.
Add to that the Premiership’s debate as to whether or not the opening weekend’s fixtures would take place or not following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this week, and it certainly wasn’t an ordinary build-up. Before proceedings got underway there was a minute’s silence for the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, a silence which then led to a rendition of God Save the King. But for the unusual road that led to the Gtech Community Stadium, Worcester Warriors were present. Without having played a preseason fixture, it was a challenge from the off.
Their plight was underlined by the fact that they were forced to wear last season’s kit – this season’s remains with the suppliers – and they needed special dispensation to play without numbers on the back of their jerseys so they can be more easily reused. They needed a club sponsor to provide the van to transport their equipment – fresh investment cannot come soon enough.
“His training has been impeccable. We saw him today use the extra pass, he used his pace. He did enough o sit defences when needed and then fed other people in positions. “But then he had to finish off a fairly physical end to score a try. There was some nice stuff from Ollie for sure. I feel that with Ollie sometimes we are still scratching the surface. “There’s only upside to him all the way. And in training there’s been some real quality feedback from his peers about the way he’s engaged with his coach in the game.
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Henry Arundell gets double as London Irish cruise past crisis
Finding Ben Donnell with the inside ball, the flanker would dot down before Paddy Jackson added the extras. Hassell-Collins was involved in the Exiles’ second score of the afternoon also. He, along with Rona, Van Rensburg and Will Joseph all combined close to the touchline to send Scotland international Ben White over. Before the half, Academy product Hassell-Collins got in on the action himself, scoring in the corner powerfully with several blue shirts stuck to his heels. To resume proceedings, there was a moment of magic. With England international Henry Arundell introduced to the game, there was certainly some buzz in the crowd. On the front-foot, Hassell-Collins’ attempt at a kick through took several deflections, guiding the ball to the 19-year-old’s feet, a nonchalant kick over onrushing defenders meaning that all the full-back had to do was pick the ball up at the 5m and place down.
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” But despite that positive news having made its way to Diamond, he is not counting his chickens just yet. “It is a boost but we don’t want a false dawn, ” he said. “I have been around rugby for a long time and there are not too many people who want to put their hand in their pocket and buy a rugby business. “If they have found somebody, great and no doubt they will speak to me. You never know they might not want me to stay around which is up to them.
London Irish - Worcester Warriors live - 5 March 2022
How they could do with someone of the rare abilities of Henry Arundell, scorer of two London Irish tries from the bench here – everything he touches turns to gold. There was no little endeavour, a predictably fast start but once Irish weathered the early storm they found holes in the defence all too easy to exploit and helped themselves to seven tries. Worcester can take heart that they did not capitulate late on given their lack of preparation: their only pre-season fixture was cancelled. But here was a reminder of the reality they face four months after clinching the Premiership Rugby Cup at the same ground.
Like an overeager boxer short on fitness, there was the sense too that they punched themselves out in the opening exchanges. Accordingly, Irish proceeded to score three first-half tries. Ben Donnell got the first after a sideways run from the excellent Ollie Hassell-Collins caused havoc in the Worcester defence. Ben White followed in similar circumstances on the right wing after Curtis Rona had put Hassell-Collins into space before the left winger got in on the act himself. Irish had their fourth after the restart when Arundell met Hassell-Collins’s chip on the half-volley with his first touch, barely a minute after coming on, and raced clear to gather and splash over. Quick GuidePremiership roundupShowGenge has happy return to BristolThe England prop Ellis Genge marked his Bristol homecoming with two tries as the Bears began their Premiership campaign with a 31-29 victory over Bath at Ashton Gate.
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