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London Wasps 22 London Irish 15

25 Jan 2014
London Wasps 22 London Irish 15

Joe Carlisle’s accuracy with the boot proved the difference as London Wasps edged a six-try thriller to beat London Irish in the LV= Cup.

Wasps went into the game already knowing they had no chance of qualifying while their opponents knew only a bonus-point victory would keep alive any slim hopes.

But it did not stop the game from being an entertaining affair as three first-half Wasps tries from Charlie Davies, Ed Jackson and Josh Bassett, two of which were converted by Carlisle, handed them a 19-10 lead.

Sailosi Tagicakibau and Chris Hala’ufia also crossed for the Exiles but Shane Geraghty failed to add the extras on both occasions.

Carlisle added a penalty after the break but while Jamie Hagan crossed for the Exiles, they could not make up the difference as their three-game winning streak came to an end.

Wasps started the brighter, Carlisle kicking long to advance into their opponents' 22 before the hosts knocked on.

And it was not long before their pressure told as a series of phases resulted in William Helu holding the ball up before Davies muscled in for the try on four minutes, Carlisle adding the extras.

Despite the early setback, Irish notched up their first try of themselves just nine minutes later after the culmination of a great team move.

Breaking from their own 22, Guy Armitage offloaded to Tagicakibau, but despite still having plenty of work to do on the left wing, he held off the challenge of two Wasps players to score.

The game was continuing at a pace and after Carlisle executed a perfect overhead chip to advance into Irish’s 22 to win a penalty, Wasps kicked to the corner for a great position on 22 minutes.

And from the resulting catch and drive came try number two as Jackson touched down, although Carlisle’s conversion bounced back off the posts to leave the score at 12-5.

All the pressure was coming from Wasps and they extended their lead by seven points on 24 minutes when Bassett collected a long pass from Andrew Suniula before side stepping past Topsy Ojo to dive over.

Despite the rain, Irish enjoyed their best spell before half-time with their forward pack in particular finding their feet.

And with five minutes remaining of the first half Hala’ufia, making his return to the Exiles side following a four-week ban, finished off a strong catch and drive to take the scores to 19-10 at the break.

The deteriorating weather was making life difficult for both teams although Carlisle had a chance to edge his side further in front on 49 minutes but his kick went wide.

The game was held up on 56 minutes for treatment to Armitage before the inside centre was eventually stretchered off to be replaced by Gerard Ellis for his debut.

The Exiles were still looking for a way back into the game and it came on 62 minutes as patient build up from Ellis and Kieran Low saw Hagan sprint over on the right hand side for his first try of the season.

Myles Dorrian missed the conversion to leave the score at 19-15 but Wasps extended their advantage to seven points shortly afterwards when Carlisle slotted over a simple penalty.

And while the Exiles pushed late on in search of another try, the Wasps defence held firm to make it eight wins from nine in all competitions.

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