NewsCO.com.au – London Irish 39-22 Doncaster (agg 74-25)

May 6, 2017

Alex Lewington’s first-half score for London Irish was his sixth try of the season
Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-final second leg
London Irish (17) 39
Tries: Paice, Lewington, Franks, Porecki, Steele Cons: Bell 4 Pens: Bell 2
Doncaster Knights (15) 22
Tries: Ramshaw, Challinor, Sproston Con: Flockhart 2 Pen: Flockhart

London Irish sealed their place in the Championship play-off final but were pushed all the way by gutsy Doncaster Knights in a tight second leg.

Leading by 32 points after a one-sided first leg, Irish extended the lead when David Paice bundled over from close in.

But Jack Ramshaw replied and the teams exchanged further tries as the Exiles took a 17-15 half-time advantage.

Tries by Ben Franks, Dave Porecki and Scott Steele ensured Irish progressed to the final with Yorkshire Carnegie.

Carnegie, who beat Ealing Trailfinders in their two-legged Championship play-off decider, are at home in the first leg on on Wednesday, 17 May, with the return fixture on Wednesday, 24 May.

The prospect of Irish winning through was never in doubt but Knights were much improved and threatened to inflict a rare defeat on a side who had lost just once in the regular season.

Doncaster’s spirited first-half efforts efforts continued after the interval and, after forwards tries from Franks and Porecki, the visitors were rewarded with a close-range score for replacement Joe Sproston.

But Irish had too much quality and Steele’s late score gave a convincing look to the scoreline.

London Irish: Bell; Lewington, Tikoirotuma, Mulchrone, Cokanasiga; Marshall, McKibbin; Hobbs-Awoyemi, Paice, Franks, De Chaves, Sinclair, Coman, Cowan, Treviranus.

Replacements: Porecki, Court, Hoskins, Robson, Gilsenan, Steele, Tonks.

Doncaster: Jarvis; Flockhart, Bulumakau, Hayes, Lewis; Humberstone, Heaney; List, Hunter, W. John, Challinor, Williams, Ramshaw, Hills, Shaw.

Replacements: Bergmanas, Nelson, Sproston, Nolan, Carpenter, Edgerley, Cusack.

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