London Irish 29 Exeter 22: Toby Booth backs Delon Armitage

London Irish 29 Exeter 22: Booth backs England star Delon

London Irish coach Toby Booth defended a first-half incident involving Delon Armitage at the Madejski Stadium which could land the England star in more hot water.

The full-back clattered into Exeter fly half Ignacio Mieres with an arm around his head as the Argentinian fielded the ball by his own 22.

In charge: Shontayne Hape holds on to the ball against Exeter

In charge: Shontayne Hape holds on to the ball against Exeter

Mieres was left shaken for a few minutes on the touchline.

Armitage only returned to action with Irish this month after a five-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Bath wing Tom Biggs and a concurrent ban for striking lock Dave Attwood with his knee in the same match on October 29.

It was his fourth suspension in 2011. Booth played down the incident but officials may want to look intoit due to the player”s troubled record.

He said: “He went in for a tackle from behind and, as the player has bent down, he has gone up over the top of him. It is a penalty at most. But because of what has gone before, people will have a closer look.”

Main man: Tom Homer kicks a penalty during the Premiership win

Main man: Tom Homer kicks a penalty during the Premiership win

Exeter coach Rob Baxter added: “There is definitely an arm over the top. That is not alleged, you can see that clearly.”

Centres Joe Ansbro, in the first half, and Shontayne Hape after the break touched down for Irish, while wing Tom Homer, the Premiership”s leading points scorer, added 19 more with five penalties and two conversions.

Exeter were always chasing the game after Ansbro”s early try, but showed fighting spirit with Mieres kicking five penalties and converting a try from full-back Luke Arscott.