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Aviva Premiership: Brian Smith praises his London Irish side after win over Saracens

Last Updated: 10/02/13 12:32pm

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Brian Smith: Wants 16 points for survival

Brian Smith: Wants 16 points for survival

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London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith has set his side a target of 16 points from their last eight league games as they fight for Aviva Premiership survival.

The Exiles secured an important 29-16 victory over third-placed Saracens at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday with tries from Shane Geraghty and Ofisa Treviranus and 19 points from the boot of Tom Homer.

Smith's side remain five points ahead of bottom club Sale, who beat Exeter Chiefs on Friday night, and the director of rugby believes London Irish will need a significant points haul in the remaining weeks of the season to protect their top-flight status.

"I didn't watch last night's game as I couldn't - it would have given me too many butterflies," said Smith. "I checked the result but didn't refer to it once when speaking to the boys.

"We are looking ahead and are aiming at 16 points from our last eight games with five of those at home. However we must not look too far ahead."

He added: "The boys really stepped to the plate today. It was a very physical encounter and we were very strong in defence.

"We are looking ahead and are aiming at 16 points from our last eight games with five of those at home. However we must not look too far ahead."
Brian Smith

"It was a ding-dong battle and neither side were too far ahead in any area of the game.

"Up front the boys probably edged it and put the squeeze on the Saracens especially in their own 22."

Smith's Saracens counterpart, Mark McCall, accepted his side were second best saying: "We were well beaten today with full credit to Irish, as they put us under a lot of pressure.

"I am very disappointed that when we were chasing the game there was a lot of poor decision making. We had a good team out and didn't lack effort but there were too many mistakes and poor choices.

"There were few positives to take from the game, David Strettle was very busy and scored our try and our young loosehead Nick Auterac performed with credit but little else.

"However we don't have many bad performances and have a good record with 19 wins from 24 games this season."

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