Monkey off our backs at last, says relieved Irish boss Booth


LONDON IRISH boss Toby Booth believes his team have turned the corner after ending a 10-match losing streak with a shock Heineken Cup triumph over the Ospreys.

Tries from Sailosi Tagicakibau and Topsy Ojo earned the Exiles a long-awaited victory in their penultimate Pool Three fixture and all but ended their opponents’ hopes of reaching the last eight.

“The monkey is off our backs,” said Booth. “I am so pleased for the players. It was crucial for us to get the result and we’ve got it.”

Booth revealed he used the wisdom of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp to dig his side out of their wretched run.

“You have to remember why you play the game,” he added. “We quoted Harry Redknapp, who says nothing beats winning.”

Mike Phillips got within a metre of crossing for the Ospreys in the opening minutes, but it was Irish who went in 14-6 ahead thanks to Tagicakibau’s try. Ojo added a second straight after the restart to home in on a landmark result.

The visitors’ defeat means the Scarlets are the only Welsh team in with a realistic chance of reaching the last eight when the pool stage reaches its climax next weekend.

Meanwhile, Adam Jones looks a doubt for Wales’ Six Nations campaign. The prop was taken off at half-time after suffering what looked like an injury to his left shoulder when a scrum collapsed.