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Homer on target to keep Irish in play-off picture

03 Apr 2011
Homer on target to keep Irish in play-off picture

Wing Tom Homer claimed 20 points and ensured Wasps were made to pay for their ill-discipline as they suffered another defeat to continue their slide down the table – this time 25-12 at London Irish.

The visitors led 12-3 early on in the game but they then allowed Irish to dominate at the Madejski Stadium.

Wasps had an early chance to take the lead after two minutes when London Irish were offside in midfield – but Dave Walder fired wide with his 40-metre kick. The Exiles immediately took advantage of Walder's miss with Topsy Ojo and Seilala Mapusua making storming runs into the visitors' 22. Wasps were penalised and Homer kicked the simple goal.

Wasps responded by scoring the first try of the game after nine minutes – and it was a well constructed one. The visitors won a ruck 40 metres out; a skilful pass from Walder put Dominic Waldouck in space for the centre to kick ahead. David Lemi was first to the ball and he cleverly passed the ball into the path of Riki Flutey, who collected for the try which Walder converted.

Minutes later Wasps stunned their hosts with another splendid try. The visitors won a lineout 40 metres out and Joe Simpson fed young wing Christian Wade, who tore past some poor Irish defending to race deep into the home 22. When the ball was recycled, Wasps had a huge overlap and Rob Webber had little difficulty picking up the try.

The game continued at a frenetic pace with Irish picking up the next score when Homer kicked another simple penalty to make it 12-6 to the visitors at the end of the first quarter and then the wing knocked over another penalty to further reduce the arrears.

Wasps were then dealt a number of crucial blows. First, the lively Waldouck being helped off with a leg injury to be replaced by Josh Lewsey, then Horner made them pay for conceding two further penalties to give London Irish a 15-12 advantage at half-time.

Four minutes after the interval, Homer was presented with another penalty opportunity when Andy Powell was penalised for not releasing but the wing's kick from well inside his own half sailed narrowly wide.

The hosts were beginning to dominate proceedings but didn't possess enough creativity to split the Wasps' defence – and it was again left to Homer to get the scoreboard moving when he kicked his sixth penalty.

With half an hour remaining the home side brought on Ryan Lamb to increase their attacking flair and eventually their pressure was rewarded when Paul Hodgson sent replacement David Paice over for a try which Homer converted to extend the lead to 25-12 at the end of the third quarter.

The hosts' full-back surprisingly missed with a further penalty chance, before Wasps had the better of the final minutes. However, despite London Irish lock Gary Johnson receiving a late yellow card, Wasps were unable to make any inroads and slumped to another disappointing loss.

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