Irish back on top despite a late collapse

LONDON IRISH (39) vs SALE (26)

LONDON IRISH head coach Toby Booth admitted tactical tinkering almost cost his side top spot in the Premiership.

The Exiles moved back to the summit with a five-try victory over Sale, but a flurry of late substitutions clearly had an adverse effect on their momentum.

Irish led 26-6 heading into the final quarter but had to rely on an injury time try from Jonathan Joseph to secure the bonus point which lifted them above Northampton.

Afterwards, a relieved Booth was willing to accept responsibility for his side’s late collapse.

He said: “If you look at the changes I made and when I made them, in addition to not having the ball, it looks as though we took our foot off the pedal.

“In relation to game control, I’m to blame. That’s probably a learning point for me.

“At this stage of the season with international breaks and the LV= Cup coming, you have to plan your squad accordingly.

“I try to be as proactive as I can but I got that wrong, which is a learning curve for me."

Tries from Ryan Lamb, Joseph and George Stowers put Irish in a commanding position until a frantic climax.

“We’re in the entertainment business,” added Booth. “I’m delighted - five points at home is just what the doctor ordered, though I don’t know if the doctor ordered the middle 20 minutes of the second half.”