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Match Date: Mon 10 Sep 2012
Kick Off: 19:30
Wasps scored seven tries in the game, with the first three going to Zak Taulafo, in an unlikely but well-taken 20-minute hat-trick.
The game began at a furious pace, with Wasps controlling early possession, and giving their forwards plenty of opportunity to show off their handling skills. Ashley Johnson was prominent, and he was instrumental in establishing the position from which Wasps took the lead after four minutes.
They won a lineout, inside the Irish 22, and a well-controlled drive was too powerful for the Irish defence, ending with Zak Taulafo going over for a try. Will Robinson landed a fine kick, to make it 7-0.
After Paul Emerick came close, Wasps stretched their lead with carbon copy of their first try, and it was again Zak Taulafo who applied the finishing touch after a catch and drive. Will Robinson added the conversion, to give Wasps a 14-0 lead after a quarter of an hour.
A Mike Ward penalty, from 40 metres, opened the Irish account.
Two minutes later, Zak Taulafo completed a hat-trick, with another replica of his previous two tries, following James Cannon’s excellent lineout leap.
Wasps then claimed the bonus point with a superb try, set up by a fine run by Jack Wallace. He combined with Sam Jones and James Cannon. The lock was stopped just short of the line, but Simon McIntyre was on hand to go over for a try, which Robinson converted to make the score 26-3 with 13 minutes of the half to play.
Seven minutes before the break, a Wasps handling error gave Foster Horan the chance to scoop up a loose ball and race 40 metres for a well-taken try, between the posts. Ward’s conversion made the score 26-10 at half time.
Wasps stretched their lead, five minutes into the second half, and the try again came from a lineout. This time, it was James Cannon who powered his way over, after the initial drive had stopped, and the ball had been recycled. Will Robinson added the extra points, with a straightforward kick, from just to the left of the posts.
With both sides having made a number of replacements, play continued in helter-skelter fashion. It was Irish who produced the next score, and a fine effort it was. It began with a deft chip by Ludi Hopkinson, ten metres inside his own half. He gathered his own kick, before feeding Foster Horan. He combined well with Mike Worrincy, who drew the final defender, before sending Gerard Ellis in for a superb try.
Wasps responded immediately, with an equally fine score – this time, it was an individual effort by Liam O’Neill, who beat a series of defenders, in a 30-metre run which produced one of the biggest cheers of the night. Will Robinson’s conversion stretched the lead to 40-15.
With four minutes to go, Wasps added a seventh try, when Jack Wallace’s incisive run set up replacement Tom Howe for a fine score, in the right corner. It finished 45-15.
London Irish A team
1. John Ryan; 2. Brian Blaney; 3. Richard Palframan; 4. Jack Ramshaw; 5. James Doherty; 6. Shaun Malton; 7. Gerard Ellis; 8. Alex Gray (Captain); 9. Jack Moates; 10. Mike Ward; 11. Conor Gaston; 12. Mike Worrincy; 13. Foster Horan; 14. Luke Peters; 15. David Jackson
Replacements: 16. Alex Wood; 17. Tom McDonald; 18. Charlie Davey; 19. Ben Lonergan; 20. Lorcan Dow; 21. Ludi Hopkinson; 22. Tom Fowley; 23. Stuart Commins
London Wasps A team
15 Jack Wallace; 14 Liam O’Neill; 13 Paul Emerick; 12 Jimmy Speirs* (Old Albanians); 11 James Bailey; 10 Will Robinson; 9 Jordan Brooks * (Loughborough Uni); 1 Simon McIntyre; 2 Nathan Morris; 3 Zak Taulafo; 4 Richard Birkett (Captain); 5 James Cannon; 6 Sam Jones; 7 Matt Everard; 8 Ashley Johnson
Replacements: 16 Derek Asbun * (Rosslyn Park); 17 Anthony Kent * (Richmond); 18 Harry Williams (Wasps Academy Extended Training Group); 19 Adam Peters (Wasps Academy Extended Training Group); 20 Lewis Calder* (London Scottish); 21 Jonathan Woodward (Wasps Academy Extended Training Group); 22 Tom Howe (Wasps Elite Player Development Group); 23 David Howells * (London Scottish)