Exiles pile pressure on Wasps
April 3, 2011
Exiles pile pressure on Wasps%]
London Irish kept alive their narrow hopes of an Aviva Premiership play-off spot with a 25-12 victory over Wasps at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
Twenty points from wing Tom Homer ensured Wasps were made to pay for their ill-discipline as they suffered another defeat to continue their slide down the table. The visitors led 12-3 early on in the game but they then allowed Irish to dominate a poor game.
Wasps had an early chance to take the lead after two minutes when London Irish were offside in midfield, but Dave Walder fired wide with his 40-metre kick. The Exiles immediately took advantage of Walder's miss with Topsy Ojo and Seilala Mapusua making storming runs into the visitors' 22. Wasps were penalised and Homer kicked the simple goal.
Wasps responded by scoring the first try of the game after nine minutes, and it was a well constructed one. The visitors won a ruck 40 metres out and a skilful pass from Walder put Dominic Waldouck in space for the centre to kick ahead. David Lemi was first to the ball and he cleverly popped the ball into the path of Riki Flutey, who collected for the try.
Minutes later, Wasps stunned their hosts with another splendid score. Joe Simpson fed young wing Christian Wade, who tore past some poor Irish defending to race deep into the home 22. When the ball was recycled, Wasps had a huge overlap and Rob Webber had little difficulty picking up the try.
Dan Bowden smashes Wasps wing Christian Wade © Getty Images
Irish picked up the next score when Homer kicked another simple penalty to make it 12-6 to at the end of the first quarter and then the wing knocked over another penalty to further reduce the arrears. Wasps were then dealt a number of crucial blows. First, the lively Waldouck was helped off with a leg injury to be replaced by Josh Lewsey and then Homer made them pay for conceding two further penalties to give Irish a 15-12 advantage at half-time.
Four minutes after the interval, Homer was presented with another penalty opportunity when Andy Powell was penalised for not releasing but the wing's kick from well inside his own half sailed narrowly wide. The hosts were beginning to dominate proceedings but didn't possess enough creativity to split the Wasps' defence and it was again left to Homer to get the scoreboard moving when he kicked his sixth penalty.
With half an hour remaining the home side brought on Ryan Lamb to increase their attacking flair and eventually their pressure was rewarded when Paul Hodgson sent replacement David Paice over for a try, which Homer converted to extend the lead to 25-12 at the end of the third quarter.
London Irish lock Gary Johnson received a late yellow card but Wasps were unable to make any inroads and slumped to another disappointing loss.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action