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Fixture Type: LV= Cup
Match Date: Sat 25 Jan 2014
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Darren Gamage
Assistant Referee: Simon McConnell
Assistant Referee: Paul Burton
Sailosi Tagicakibau, Chris Hala’ufia and Jamie Hagan crossed for Irish but in the terrible conditions, were unable to kick their goals.
Irish were playing against the wind in the first half and the hosts used that to their advantage early on. Firstly Joe Carlisle spotted plenty of space on the far side from turnover ball and young Academy player Tom Howe latched onto the ball. Irish managed to repel that chance but were unable to stop Captain Charlie Davies sniping over for the Wasps first try on four minutes.
The Wasps forwards provided the platform and Davies was on hand to finish off the try. Carlisle added the straightforward conversion to make it 7-0.
Irish continued to absorb the pressure but were hitting hard in defence and forced a turnover in the lead up to their opening score. Irish made the tackle in midfield and forced Wasps to knock the ball on and it was scooped up by Tomás O’Leary who kicked to the far touchline for Topsy Ojo to chase. The winger gathered and was tackled on half way. The ball was recycled and passed to Shane Geraghty who sent a wide pass over to Tom Homer who in turn gave a short ball to Guy Armitage who made a half break. Sailosi Tagicakibau was on hand to take the pass from Armitage and beat two defenders before finishing in the corner.
Wasps responded with two tries in four minutes to take command of the match. Firstly flanker Ed Jackson was driven over from a lineout. Irish were down to seven men in the pack at the time as Leo Halavatau received treatment.
Josh Bassett was next to cross when a long pass from centre Andrew Suniula saw the winger beat his opposite man to dive in the corner. Carlisle kicked the conversion to give Wasps a 19-5 lead.
Irish were battling the elements which got worse as the game went on so opted for the more forward orientated approach. They crossed for their second with a well constructed maul 15 metres out from the Wasps line when Chris Hala’ufia marked his return with a try. That made it 19-10 to Wasps at the break.
Irish changed the front row and the half backs after half time as the heavens opened over High Wycombe. It made for an error strewn final quarter that unfortunately also saw Guy Armitage leave the field on a stretcher.
Jamie Hagan scored his first try for the Club after taking a short pass from Sean Kennedy, who has signed a short term loan deal from Edinburgh, to power his way over and cut the deficit to four points at 19-15.
Joe Carlisle kicked the first penalty of the match to give his side a seven point lead, but Irish dominated the last 10 minutes with Gerard Ellis involved heavily after returning from injury.
The Exiles couldn’t however cross for the fourth try that could have given them the opportunity to draw the match. Handling errors cost Brian Smith’s side as they tasted defeat for the first time in 2014.
London Irish welcome Scarlets to Madejski Stadium next weekend for the final round of the LV=Cup.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 5-7, 5-12, 5-19, 10-19, 15-19, 15-22
Scorers: London Wasps: Tries: Davies (4), Jackson (20), Bassett (24); Conversions: Carlisle (2); Penalties: Carlisle (67); London Irish: Tries: Tagicakibau (12); Hala’ufia (36), Hagan (63)
15. Tommy Bell; 14. Tom Howe; 13. Will Helu (rep: Andrea Masi, 59); 12. Andrew Suniula (rep: Charlie Hayter, 66; 11. Josh Bassett; 10. Joe Carlisle; 9. Charlie Davies (Captain) (rep: Matt Heeks, 75); 1. Taione Vea (rep: Ricky Reeves, 50); 2. Tom Lindsay (rep: Kevin Davis, 75); 3. Will Taylor (rep: Phil Swainston, 47); 4. Esteban Lozada; 5. James Cannon; 6. Ed Jackson; 7. Matt Everard; 8. Rory Pitman (rep: Gy Thompson, 59)
Replacements: 16. Kevin Davies; 17. Ricky Reeves; 18. Phil Swainston; 19. Will Rowlands; 20. Guy Thompson; 21. Matt Heeks; 22. Andrea Masi; 23. Charlie Hayter
15. Tom Homer (rep: Andrew Fenby, 36); 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Guy Armitage (rep: Gerard Ellis, 56); 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Shane Geraghty (Captain) (rep: Myles Dorrian, 40); 9. Tomás O’Leary (rep: Sean Kennedy, 40); 1. John Yapp (rep: Matt Parr, 40); 2. Mike Mayhew (rep: Jimmy Stevens, 30); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Jamie Hagan, 40); 4. Bryn Evans; 5. Nic Rouse; 6. Kieran Low; 7. Jebb Sinclair; 8. Chris Hala’ufia (rep: Blair Cowan, 40)
Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17. Matt Parr; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Gerard Ellis; 20. Blair Cowan; 21. Andrew Fenby; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Sean Kennedy
Referee: Darren Gamage