Please use the buttons below to see more information on London Irish and matches between Wasps and Irish over the years.
Man of the match Ben Jacobs bursts through a gap to score the opening try
They showed great character to come from behind, after a controversial try had given Irish the lead, early in the second half, and sealed a memorable win with two late tries from Steve Kefu and Tom Varndell.
Wasps made one change to their original squad, with Charlie Davies taking the place of Jack Wallace, on the bench.
Irish had the chance to open the scoring after just over a minute, when Wasps went offside, chasing a Joe Simpson kick, from just outside his 22, but Ryan Lamb’s kick fell well short.
Wasps showed their attacking intentions when Richard Haughton beat two men to cross the halfway line. Mark Van Gisbergen joined the line to create an overlap on the left, before Ben Jacobs cut inside, to take play into the 22. The ball was spilt in contact, but almost immediately, London Irish were penalised, just inside their half, and Dave Walder made no mistake with his long-range kick, to give his side a sixth-minute lead.
Irish then began to get their game together, and apply the pressure. A Ryan Lamb chip into the 22 caused problems, and led to a scrum in front of the posts. They won possession, and attacked to the right, but Steffon Armitage lost possession and Ben Jacobs snapped up the loose ball. He was about to send the unmarked Tom Varndell away down the left, but the referee ruled that there had been a Wasps knock-on. From the resultant scrum, Wasps were penalised, and Lamb levelled the scores with a simple kick.
Dave Walder kicked 18 points for the home side
Irish failed to control the restart, giving Wasps a scrum just outside the 22. They controlled the ball through several phases, without making any ground, before the visitors conceded a penalty near their ten-metre line, but Walder was off target with a kick from out towards the left touchline.
A minute later, it was Wasps who were caught offside, at a breakdown on halfway, when Simon Shaw came through too quickly. This time, Lamb’s kick had the distance, but drifted wide to the left.
Wasps went ahead in sensational style, following a quick 22, which sent Varndell away down the left. Play came back infield, and Steve Kefu’s half-break gave Ben Jacobs the chance to beat two defender and force his way over for a fine try, which Walder converted, to make it 10-3, after 22 minutes.
Four minutes later, Chris Hala'ufia broke strongly down the blindside from a scrum outside the Wasps 22. He smashed through Richard Haughton, and fed Paul Hodgson who had the strength to hold off Dan Ward-Smith’s attempted tackle, to go over near the left corner. Lamb missed the conversion. Within a minute of the restart, Walder made the score 13-8 after Irish were penalised just outside their 22.
Lamb replied with another simple kick three minutes before the break, when Wasps were penalised in front of the posts, and Tim Payne was sent to the sin-bin. That yellow card meant that Wasps were forced to bring Shaun Ruwers on for James Cannon to fill the front row. At the first scrum after the substitution, Wasps were penalised just inside their own half, but Jamie Lennard sent his kick to the right of the posts, leaving the home side holding a narrow lead of 13-11 at halftime.
Tom Varndell celebrates on his way to scoring the try that secured the win
Irish controversially went ahead two minutes after the break, when Daniel Bowden went over under the posts, after what looked like a clear knock-on following Lamb’s chip ahead. The fly half’s conversion put his side ahead for the first time in the game. A Walder penalty made it 18-16 two minutes later. Payne and Cannon then came back on to the field, with Ruwers departing. Twelve minutes after the break, Walder was narrowly off target with a penalty from halfway.
With sixteen minutes left, Marty Veale replaced James Cannon. Within two minutes, Wasps were back in front, after Ben Jacobs switched the line of attack to break down the left. He fed the ball inside and Joe Worsley was stopped on the line. Quick ball set up the chance for Steve Kefu to go over near the posts, and Walder’s conversion made it 23-18, with just over twelve minutes left to play. Two minutes later, Walder pushed a long-range penalty to the right of the posts.
With four minutes left, Wasps made the game safe with a superb score, set up after Ben Jacobs, rode a couple of tackles out on the left, and produced a wonderful offload to send Tom Varndell racing clear for his 6th try of the season. Walder’s conversion stretched the lead to 30-18.
Deep into injury time, Paulica Ion crashed over near the posts and Lamb converted to seemingly give Irish a bonus point, but that was snatched from them when Walder landed a simple penalty, following a scrum in front of the Irish posts.
Wasps travel to Bath next Saturday, before returning to Adams Park to take on Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday, December the 5th.