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Match Report

24 Feb 2002: Wasps v London Irish

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Match Report
Irish's Badge London Irish 31
Wasps's Badge Wasps 17
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Madejski Stadium
Match Date: Sun 24 Feb 2002, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Tony Spreadbury

Wasps V London Irish

When I was approached to do the match day reports, I was told to be accurate and truthful and on today's performance the only thing I can say is poor.

London Irish deserved their 31-17 win today as they played the conditions and turned us in to our own worst enemy. Barry Everitt and Kenny exchanged penalties early on but Everitt converted a beautiful drop goal after 12 minutes to take the score to 6-3. They then capitalised on our basic errors after Mark Lock lost the ball after making great ground. This then lead to a London Irish lineout on the 22m line, where they won the ball off the top, attacked through their only weapon Brendan Venter down the middle and regained possession for Mike Worsley to barrel over the line. This was converted by Everitt to take the score to 10-3.

Kenny again saved face with some accurate goal kicking, which I am told by him 'is due to his new kicking coach and more relaxed style.' After half an hours explanation I wish I never asked! After some more ill discipline from both sides the score was 13-9 after 13minutes of play.

The game was always going to be difficult due to the weather conditions being appalling. This obviously caused handling errors but we should have realised that in this weather never give the 50/50 pass or kick. I think that Martyn Wood was slightly unlucky when his opposite number charged his box kick down, as I felt he was offside. The referee Spreadbury did not agree and gave the try, which took the score to 18-9 after 31 minutes. Things could have got a lot worst after a Michael Horak break nearly lead to another try but Josh Lewsey was on hand to make a superb cover tackle which dislodged the ball and the half-time whistle went. The half-time score was 21-9 and I felt positive that things could be turned around as anything could happen in this weather.

We started very positively after the break. The forwards provided some great ball retention and continuity but this was wasted time after time, by today's sub-standard handling at crucial times. Some days we are devastating, today they were lacking something in most departments.

Irish were in trouble on their line, with only 14 men on the pitch due to a sin bin offence. This I felt was a definite changing point for the game as we were camped on the line for a considerable period but after another split ball in contact Irish hoofed the ball down the pitch which should have been dealt with by ever reliable Shane Roiser. Unfortunately he took his eye off the ball, they hacked on again and Justin Bishop scored the try.

Things needed to change so Nigel brought on sevens expert Michael Friday who provided a cheeky grubber kick for Kenny to dive on for the try. This was the last score of the game and a disappointing end to the afternoon.

The positives to come out of this game are not of great number but praise must be given to Kenny Logan who put in a solid performance, so hopefully he will regain his test spot soon.

By Peter Scrivener
(Chairman of Wasps Press Office)