Return to the London Wasps home page
Match Report

29 Sep 2002: Wasps v London Irish

Please use the buttons below to see more information on London Irish and matches between Wasps and Irish over the years.

Match Report
Irish's Badge London Irish 21
Wasps's Badge Wasps 31
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Madejski Stadium
Match Date: Sun 29 Sep 2002, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Alain Rolland

First half blitz sinks London Irish

London Wasps added local rivals London Irish to their list of 'scalps' this Sunday, after beating the Irish 31-21, at the Madejski Stadium.

The win moves Warren Gatland's side up into second place on the Zurich Premiership table with 18 points, two points behind Gloucester, and strengthens the side's position in the top half of the table.

London Wasps went to the Madejski Stadium today looking for their first away win of the season and managed to come away with the win and a bonus point.

The first half was one-way traffic for Wasps, as they managed to score 24 unanswered points, made up of three converted tries and a penalty. <1>

Alex King got the games first points, as he slotted a ninth minute penalty. Two minutes later scrumhalf Rob Howley took a quick penalty, and the ball was passed to Sampson, who kicked ahead before charging down to score. It was the England sevens star and Wasps fullback's first try of the Zurich Premiership. King converted and London Irish were on the backfoot.

In the 30th minute Welsh legend, Rob Howley, then scored his first try for Wasps in the Zurich Premiership and Wasps second, King once again made no mistake with the boot. Seven minutes later wing Shane Roiser crossed for Wasps's third try and with King slotting the conversion the sides went into the break with London Wasps leading 24-0.

After the break, prop Craig Dowd scored the crucial bonus point, as the New Zealander crossed for Wasps fourth and his third try in two games. It was only after conceding 31 points did London Irish realise that they were in a game and started a comeback. Two minutes after Dowd's try, substitute Mike Worsley scored the first points for the Irish after breaking the Wasps defence and crossing for a try. Flyhalf Barry Everitt converted and the Irish trailed 31-7. The try seemed to spur the home side on, as they continued to attack and not give up.

Wasps absorbed the continuous wave of pressure and defended well until flanker, Declan Danaher, managed to break the rock-solid defence and grab two tries late in the game. Everitt converted, but it was a case of too little too late for the Irish as Wasps held on to secure a fantastic away win. <2>

Director of rugby Warren Gatland said 'The first 40 minutes were the best that I have seen at the club since I have been here. Our game plan was good and our discipline was excellent. We are now keeping our patience defensively and that is paying off'.

Today, it was 'Wasps's eyes that were smiling, and not the Irish'

Scoring sequence:

London Irish
Try: 59 Mins Worsley
Con: 59 Mins (Everitt)
Try: 78 Mins Danahar
Con: 78 Mins (Everitt)
Try: 81 Mins Danahar
Con: 81 Mins (Everitt)

London Wasps
Pen: 9 Mins (King)
Try: 11 Mins Sampson
Con: 11 Mins (King)
Try: 30 Mins Howley
Con: 30 Mins (King)
Try: 37 Mins Roiser
Con: 37 Mins (King)
Try: 57 Mins Dowd
Con: 57 Mins (King)