Lack of attacking thrust dents Exiles bid for top-fight safety

Ross McLean
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Fly-half Freddie Burns kicked nine points against London Irish
LONDON Irish interim head coach Glenn Delaney demanded greater attacking potency from his side after Leicester maintained their hopes of a top-four finish with a narrow 12-6 victory at the Madejski Stadium yesterday.

Leicester have failed to score a try in over 300 minutes of top-flight rugby but led 9-3 at the break thanks to two penalties and a drop-goal from fly-half Freddie Burns.

Exiles No10 Shane Geraghty reduced the deficit with his second penalty of the afternoon before former Perpignan scrum-half David Mele replied in kind to secure victory for Richard Cockerill’s side.

“For the past two weeks, we have been the team threatening the try-line but we have to do better in the final third,” said Delaney, whose side lie second-bottom in the Premiership, level on points with 10th-placed Newcastle.

“We need to be more clinical and pull the trigger. They came away with the win without putting any pressure on our line whereas we came close twice and could have nicked it.”

Reigning champions Northampton moved nine points clear at the Premiership summit thanks to a 21-13 victory against Bath at The Rec on Saturday, while Sale’s 14-10 win was their first against Saracens since 2011.

England Saxons fly-half Henry Slade notched 27 points in Exeter’s 32-21 win success over Harlequins at the Stoop, as London Welsh succumbed 48-10 at Gloucester and Wasps drew 23-23 against Newcastle on Friday evening.