Irish struggle to Trailfinders victory

“dominant” – having power and influence over others

Before the game the, admittedly, very annoying stadium announcer described the Exiles as “dominant”. It was, perhaps a poor description, given the decline in recent weeks, added to an in form Ealing side. A couple of minutes later, he used another word to describe Irish – “overconfident.” This was a more apt interpretation, which proved correct over the following hours.

Kennedy has quite probably run into the biggest challenge of his very short coaching career, with an Irish team horribly out of form, playing poorly, with class failing to shine through. There are just three Championship games until the huge return clash against Carnegie, and The Exiles must be sorted out by then.

A problem which could arise, though, is that Brendan Venter will remain with Italy until the Six Nations have concluded – 18th March. I believe that what Irish need at the moment is someone who commands respect, knows the players, and has a strong coaching CV to sort us out. Brendan Venter.

The match began in typical London Irish style, an early try conceded. Ealing’s Phil Chester dotted down after poor defence on the right flank from… yep, you guessed it. Topsy Ojo. Irish grew into the game, and James Marshall dotted down next to the sticks after a sumptuous link up from Mckibbin and Mulchrone. From the last play off the half, Marshall again found Mulchrone, with a wonderful chip over the defence. Mulchrone then found Mckibbin, and for a moment it appeared the trio who created the first try would come up with the goods for the second. But Mckibbin didn’t back himself, and the opportunity was gone.

A packed crowd had turned out in Ealing, and there was a mighty roar as the teams returned for the second half.

Ealing fly-half Aaron Penberthy slotted a penalty early on, before club legend Topsy Ojo forgot the fact that he’s become a proper defensive liability to race in for a seven pointer. His first try since that length of the field score vs Exeter last season.

But Trailfinders continued to test the Irish defence, and Llewelyn Jones stretched over to make the scoreline 15-17 in favour of the Exiles. Ealing’s attacking prowess was noticeable, and kept pegging Irish back, and after Penberthy and an out of sorts Tommy Bell exchanged penalties, Chesters went over to give his side a two point lead with just 15 minutes still to play.

Irish attempted to dominate the collision, but referee JP Doyle seemed keen to penalise both sides at any given opportunity. Eventually, a scrum penalty was won, and Tommy Bell flicked it through the sticks to ensure the Exiles’ unbeaten record remained intact.

I think that there is a viable scenario in which we could be promoted playing as poorly as this, and if this were to be the case we’d doubtless fall straight back down.

This team needs sorting out, and quickly in time for the huge clash in Yorkshire on the 5th March.

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