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Thursday, April 16, 2009

London Irish and Bourgoin classic at the Madejski Stadium

London Irish and Bourgoin classic at the Madejski Stadium

London Irish narrowly lost to Bourgoin in the European Challenge Cup last week after a Delon Armitage kick sailed wide, resulting in the 32-30 win for the visitors.

It was a thrilling match with an amazing comeback from the Exiles, but it was not enough as they bowed out of the tournament.

The hosts went into half time with the lead, but conceded shortly afterwards through Anthony Forest. Seilala Mapusua then crashed through to bring the game back in Irishs favour.

With ten minutes left, the scores were tied at 22-22 before we saw a few amazing passages of play. Mapusua threw a intercept pass with five minutes left, and then we saw London Irish get close to the line, and lock captain Nick Kennedy kick a dropkick, with only a few seconds left on the clock.

Irish never gave up, and from the restart they built pressure and managed to find space for the speedy flanker Steffon Armitage to fly down the wing. He finished the try brilliantly, which set up a testing sideline conversion for his brother.

It was an incredible finish to a game of rugby, but a disappointing end for London Irish, who naturally had high ambitions in the tournament.

Bourgoin captain Wessel Jooste spoke frankly after the match.

"We surprised ourselves because we know they are capable of ripping us to bits but we were like a French side tonight that were free spirits on the field.

"But I am quite sure that if the game had gone into extra-time that we would have fallen apart because we were dead out there."

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