Geraghty wary of Exeter's penalty threatBy Alan Manicom
November 23, 2012
Shane Geraghty has warned that London Irish will need to tighten up their discipline if they are to continue their impressive form at Madejski Stadium.
Exiles have won four of their last five home games in all competitions, but their talented centre is wary of the threat posed by Exeter Chiefs fly-half Gareth Steenson in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
Geraghty said: “Their 10 is a good kicker and Madejski Stadium generally has no wind so they could score points if we let them.”
Irish conceded 14 penalties to Leicester’s seven in last Sunday’s 22-15 defeat at Welford Road in the LV= Cup.
And Geraghty said: “You are never going to get anything off the referee away to Leicester. I got sinbinned (for a deliberate knock-on), we conceded a few soft penalties and a missed lineout throw gave them their try. An accumulation of things cost us.
“We came back into the game and could have sneaked it, but I’m not sure we would have deserved it. A young Leicester team came at us hard and earned their win.”
Exeter have yet to win away in the league, but Geraghty expects them to pose an even tougher test than Leicester, saying: “The intensity will be a step up from last week.
“They are very competitive at the breakdown and in the scrum. So training has been structured so that we can prepare for that battle.”
Tom Homer will start at full back for London Irish on Sunday. Chris Hala’ufia and Bryn Evans also return to the starting line-up after being rested against Leicester Tigers in the LV=Cup.
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith said: “We have eight players away on international duty and another eight of our first team squad are injured so Sunday will be a real test of our playing resources at present. Exeter are having a very good run this season and have become a genuine force in the Premiership and Europe; so it will be a tough challenge but one we will be prepared for.”
London Irish team to face Exeter Chiefs:
15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 12. Shane Geraghty; 11. Anthony Watson; 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Max Lahiff; 2. Brian Blaney; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Matt Garvey; 5. Bryn Evans; 6. Declan Danaher (Captain); 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Chris Hala’ufia
Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Richard Palframan; 18. Cai Griffiths; 19. Kieran Low; 20. Alex Gray; 21. Conor Gaston; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Jack Moates