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Arundell’s brilliant solo try not enough to save Exiles

European Challenge Cup

London Irish head coach Les Kiss was not surprised by an astonishing individual try scored by teenager Henry Arundell in their quarterfinal defeat by Toulon.

While the Exiles went out in agonising fashion, Arundell claimed the champagne moment with a try from just short of 100 metres that will be talked about for years to come.

The 19-year old received a pass just in front of his own try-line in the 75th minute before embarking on a swerving, jet-heeled counter-attack that saw him cut through the entire Toulon team and go all the way to the right corner for the score. Had fly-half Paddy Jackson nailed the difficult touchline conversion Irish would have pinched the victory, but his effort sailed well wide.

Kiss said of Arundell: “He makes people make defensive errors. He is a good lad, a level-headed lad. We weren’t surprised when that happened, we know what’s possible with him. For Henry, Will Joseph, Tom Pearson, Juan Gonzalez... there’s four young guys who have got a taste of European rugby in one of the toughest cauldrons. That’s great for us and it was great to see Henry do what he did today.”

Kiss rued errors in the middle period of a match which had seen the Exiles go into a 10-0 lead in as many minutes, after a blistering start was rewarded with a pushover try by No8 Albert Tuisue.

But while the visitors continued to frustrate the Stade Felix Mayol crowd with an organised and com

mitted performance, they were unable to prevent Toulon from gradually gaining the upper hand.

A try from captain Charles Ollivon on the hour mark was crucial, with fly-half Louis Carbonel adding the rest of the hosts’ points with the boot. Irish were left to rue yellow cards for hooker Agustin Creevy and Gonzalez, Creevy’s for pulling the hair of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and Gonzalez’s for a high tackle on Carbonel.

Kiss said: “We made a good start, probably the middle period we made too many errors. The penalty count was too high in that period and it put us on the back foot.”

Sport Rugby Union




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