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Losing bonus point pleases Smith

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

London Irish's  Brian Smith

London Irish's Brian Smith

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London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith was pleased with a losing bonus point after his side clawed back an 18-point deficit against Exeter Chiefs.

The visitors, who earned their first away win of the Aviva Premiership season, led 21-3 after just 18 minutes and the hosts looked in grave danger of being routed, but the Exiles rallied to build a 23-21 lead midway through the second half.

However, the visitors regrouped and it fell to Gareth Steenson to score two late penalties and earn a 27-23 victory for Exeter.

Smith said: "They got a flyer in the first 20 minutes, we lost concentration, and we lost our focus in defence. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb but with our try just before half-time it gave us a big momentum shift.

"Because they had such a good start it was a bit of a negative for them as they stopped playing.

"Our improved performance gave us a shot to win and we did a good job of running them down, but they nailed their penalties at the crucial time and we missed ours.

"We had eight players away on international duty and another eight injured so it was good to salvage a bonus point," Smith stated.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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