Aviva Premiership: Brian Smith hails London Irish prop Halani Aulika
Last Updated: 20/04/13 7:33pm
Halani Aulika: Has scored four tries in as many games for London Irish
London Irish head coach Brian Smith praised Halani Aulika after the prop continued his try-scoring run with a brace in the win over London Welsh.
Aulika has scored 11 tries this season and his brace was part of a seven-try riot for Irish against a Welsh side already consigned to relegation from the Aviva Premiership.
Guy Armitage also notched two for Irish and Chris Hala'ufia, Sailosi Tagicakibau and Matt Garvey all also crossed, but it was the contribution of Aulika that stood out for Smith.
"I'm delighted for him," Smith said. "I think the whole team wanted him to stay on to get a hat-trick. For a tighthead to get a hat-trick, you wouldn't have seen that every day.
"Once you get into the opposition 22 he is a real strike-force. He knows his way to the try-line.
"I think he is clearly the best short-range try scorer in the league, and there's a lot of him.
"Once you get into the opposition 22 he is a real strike-force. He knows his way to the try-line. I think he is clearly the best short-range try scorer in the league, and there's a lot of him."
"The game was a good one for the neutral. Both teams wanted to play. We were running from our own try-line and they did too. There are things we are happy about as well as things we are not."
Welsh coach Lyn Jones wants his side to show more commitment in their final Premiership outing of the season against Worcester on 4 May.
"I'm sure if we show a lot of commitment and the right attitude then we might be able to go and get something against Worcester," he said.
"But that is not down to me - that is down to the players."
He added: "We were in the game all the time. We played some good rugby, but we kept gifting London Irish points from the restarts and from sloppy errors really.
"You need the edge to get stuck in; if you don't you will have a difficult time in this league.
"We need to enjoy every minute. It was always going to be a tough year and it has not disappointed.
"It is a big league. We have not had the time or the money to be as competitive as we would like to be. We have to say goodbye."