London Irish v Grenoble Live

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London Irish                          Grenoble
Saturday 16th January 15:00 GMT


Grenoble took advantage of their back to back European Rugby Challenge Cup matches against Top 14 strugglers Agen, recording two convincing wins, to move to the top of Pool 5 in the European tournament. On Saturday they face a much more severe test, when they travel to the Madejski Stadium in Reading, to face London Irish, who along with Edinburgh are just two points adrift of the Pool leaders.

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When the teams met earlier in the Pool stage, the Exiles suffered a heart breaking defeat, when they lost their own line out throw, and Grenoble snatched victory with the last play of the game, winning 27-20. The Exiles suffered a second defeat in this season's competition, when they went down narrowly to last season's runners up, Edinburgh by 15-18 just before Christmas.

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The last 20 matches that the Exiles have played against French sides in England, have resulted in 18 wins and one draw for the Premiership club, and they have 21 of their last 24 home matches in the tournament against all opposition. After losing their Pool opener to Edinburgh, Grenoble have won three fixtures on the trot, and a win on Saturday would equal their best ever run of victories in the Challenge Cup.

Posted: 17th January 2015


Having beaten the Cardiff Blues in Round 4 of this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup, to end the Welsh Region’s unbeaten record in the tournament, and to draw level on 14 points at the head of the table with their Welsh rivals, the Exiles will be anxious to build on that result when they face Grenoble in Reading on Saturday.

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By the time the Exiles kick off, they may find themselves trailing the Blues by five points, as Cardiff are at home to the winless bottom of the table Italian outfit, Rovigo. Although the Exiles will have to cope with the sudden departure of Director of Rugby Brian Smith, who has returned home to Australia, leaving forwards coach Glenn Delaney to prepare the team, they will have the confidence of last Sunday’s Premiership win against the Exeter Chiefs under their belts.

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The French outfit are not entirely out of the hunt for a quarter final spot, thanks to a couple of try-scoring bonus point victories against Rovigo in rounds three and four. However, they are a far less effective team when their venture out of their Alpine home, and given that they are currently as high as sixth in the Top 14 table, they may decide that their priorities do not lie with an outside hope of European qualification.

Tags: European Rugby Challenge Cup, Madejski Stadium, London Irish, Grenoble, Glenn Delaney
Posted: 16th January 2016

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