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Match reaction: London Irish 66 Wasps 7

Match reaction: London Irish 66 Wasps 7

London Irish swept aside Wasps in the Anglo-Welsh Cup as Nick Kennedy’s men notched up 10 tries at the Madejski Stadium.

Five tries in either half proved too much for Dai Young’s team who bowed out of the competition.

Man of the match – Joe Cokanasiga

A strong looking London Irish side took to the field but it was 20-year-old Joe Cokanasiga who impressed the most for the hosts.

The winger rampaged down the right flank to dot down his first of the afternoon as Irish led 33-7 at the interval.

Cokanasiga then showed all his power in the final two minutes as he added two more scores to complete a marvellous hat-trick.

Try of the match

As the Wasps defence started to tire, gaps appeared and they were ruthlessly exposed by Cokanasiga with five minutes to play.

The bruising wing collected the ball on the halfway line before thundering towards the line and leaving defenders in his wake.

Moment of the match

After Nick Foster had sniped over for Wasps, the match was in the balance heading into the half-time interval.

But three tries in the space of ten minutes settled this contest as first Cokanasiga, Ollie Hoskins and then James Marshall moments before half-time settled the contest.

Wasps struggled to get back into the match as Irish asserted their dominance in the second half – running over five more tries.

What they said

Wasps academy manager Jonathan Pendlebury said:

“Score wise, and result wise, we were disappointed. Performance wise, I think there’s an awful lot to take.

“You look at the score at half-time and I genuinely don’t feel that that reflected the game.

“I’m looking at it from a development and transitional point of view.

“A number of our guys are under 18, year 13s at school, schoolboy players that are in our academy.

“We wanted to be physical, we wanted to show good effort to get into our attacking shapes and defensive shapes.

“I thought the boys made a really good statement with the scrum and with the defensive effort. They were more frustrated with themselves when they error-ed in attack.

London Irish head coach Nick Kennedy said:

“Confidence comes from playing well and the boys definitely played well today. Wasps were under-strength, but you can only beat what’s in front of you.

“What I was pleased with is we kept our foot on the gas and kept playing from minute one to minute 80.

“Blair Cowan is an absolute London Irish warrior. He puts his body on the line for the team and his friends every single week without fail.”

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

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