Irish claim play-off place
Bonus point win hands Exiles third spot
Last Updated: 26/04/09 12:27pm
A five-try haul at Worcester on Saturday saw London Irish claim third place in the Guinness Premiership and a play-off clash at Harlequins.
The Warriors put up a tough fight during the first half before the Exiles powered away to win 32-15 and claim the bonus point after the interval.
Irish need just two points to ensure their play-off place regardless of what happened to Sale who were chasing five-points at home to Northampton.
Worcester rugby director Mike Ruddock, with one eye on their European Challenge Cup semi-final against Bourgoin, had made a number of changes to the side that beat on Tuesday.
The Exiles put them under pressure from the start, resulting in wing Sailosi Tagicakibau crossing unopposed after flanker Steffon Armitage initiated a sustained attack from the hosts 22.
Worcester replied with a try of their own when scrum-half Matt Powell fed hooker Chris Fortey, who crashed over to set up a simple conversion for fly-half Joe Carlisle.
Carlisle and England full-back Delon Armitage each slotted penalties to keep the scores level at 10-10 at the end of the first half.
Chris Hala'ufia scored the visitors second after the restart, the big number eight crossing from an attacking scrum with an old-fashioned pick-up and drive from the back row.
Paul Hodgson claimed their third in the 58th minute after sneaking down the blindside of a ruck before Declan Danaher barged over for the bonus point fourth following a burst up the middle by Armitage.
And when Adam Thompstone intercepted for Irish's fifth the game was all but over, although Worcester continued to fight.
Their resilience brought a deserved consolation try however, when replacement George Crook went over in the dying seconds but it made little difference in the grand scheme of things.