HOOKER David Paice believes Greene King IPA Championship play-offs favourites London Irish are hitting form at the right time.

Exiles bounced back from back-to-back defeats to Jersey with an emphatic 82-3 trouncing of Rotherham before beating the side they face this Sunday – Doncaster Knights – 22-5 at Castle Park.

After a week off, they now return to the venue for the first of their two-legged semi-final before welcoming Doncaster to Madejski Stadium the following Saturday.

And ex-England man Paice admitted: “It was good to go into the play-offs with some good performances under our belt.

“I was very happy with the way that the set-piece went and we did well in the scrum, which was good to see.

“The scrum was an area of the game we identified as something we needed to improve on midway through the season.

“Also, from a personal point of view, I feel my line-out throws were perhaps not the sharpest, but it’s something I can tidy up.”

Assistant coach Declan Danaher believes the recent victory at Doncaster – allied to a week’s break – has set his side up well.

He revealed: “It was a great experience for the boys to get a general feel for the place and nice to finish our last league game on a good team performance. Hopefully that is going to stand us in good stead going back up on Sunday.

“The rest has given us the chance to get the boys recovered. Our backroom staff have done a great job making sure the players are ready. It’s just about getting the correct processes in place, which they have done brilliantly all season.”

He continued: “Training has gone really well and this week we will prepare with the same intensity that we have for the previous 20 matches.

“You take each week as it comes, I tend not to look too far ahead. I have done that all year.

“Maybe that is just my personality, but if you get too far ahead of yourself you can become unstuck.

“It is obviously going to be an incredibly tough task to go back up to Doncaster again.”

Exiles are just four games away from a return to the Aviva Premiership, and Paice hailed their supporters as the season reaches its business end.

He commented: “I think I speak on behalf of everyone at the club in saying I have been blown away by the fantastic support we have received throughout the season.

“It’s great to see a sea of green in the stands at the Madejski Stadium on a match day, and as players we can hear them cheering us on all afternoon which has really helped us.

“This is an exciting part of the season and the supporters can make a big difference.”