Perfect start for Wasps in Coventry

Date published: December 21 2014

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Wasps enjoyed the perfect start to life at the Ricoh Arena as they beat London Irish 48-16 with a try bonus-point in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Though the first try came courtesy of Geoff Cross, Andy Goode ensured the lead was taken into the break by the home side, as he fired all 18 of Wasps first-half points to give them a two point lead.

And his side kicked on in spectacular style in the second period, with Joe Simpson getting their first try of the afternoon four minutes after the break.

That was followed by a whole lot more points from the boot of Goode, and he even got a try of his own to become the record point scorer in a single Premiership game.

Two more tries came from the now Coventry based side via Elliot Daly and Andrea Masi, as Wasps claimed all five points.

With over 28,000 fans packed into their new home, Wasps went out looking to put on a show, and it was only right that Goode, a Coventry man, was the first to score. His kicking was almost faultless throughout the game, and it took him just five minutes to get on the scoreboard.

It looked like the first try was on the way minutes later, when Daly and Christian Wade combined to send Wasps bursting forward, but they were met by a resilient Irish backline.

Another Goode penalty followed, before the Ricoh saw its first ever try. It came via the visitors, who looked to spoil the party early on. Cross was the man who went through, after Joe Simpson was unable to get a kick away, allowing Blair Cowan to feed the bearded Cross. Tom Homer converted to five Irish a point lead.

Goode snatched back the lead with another penalty on a stellar afternoon for the veteran. Homer again took the lead to the visitors, but three further Goode penalties saw him stretch the lead back again, though Homer got two to reduce the half-time score to 18-16, in a pulsating opening period.

But four minutes after the break, Wasps legion of fans were treated to their sides first try at their new home. It came via Simpson, but Wade was unsurprisingly the architect, following a fantastic burst up the pitch. Ashley Johnson received it from Wade, and released Simpson to set the Ricoh alight.

But though the try was not converted from Goode, it acted as just a momentary break from his scoring, adding two more penalties. Within those, Sailosi Tagicakibau went over for a try, however Goode (who else) was at the centre of the action, with his pass deemed forward.

Though the lead was ten points, the game was not yet over, though Irish shot themselves in the foot to hand the victory to their hosts. David Paice was yellow carded after a series of fouls by the men in green, and that gave Goode all the ammunition he needed to turn the afternoon into a truly memorable one. His penalty following the yellow card was a hint of what was to come, but the afternoon soon became his greatest not only in a Wasps shirt, but perhaps also in Premiership rugby.

Goode burst through two bodies to dive under the posts, after another promising Wasps attack. He converted his own work, before the third Wasps try of the afternoon followed. From their next attack, Daly went over following some superb handling, as they took advantage of a depleted Irish backline. And when Goode converted, he wrote his name in the history books. The conversion marked his 33rd points of the afternoon, making him the record point scorer in a single match in the history of the Premiership.

The 14 points recorded with Paice off the pitch were little surprise as the hosts grew in confidence, and Goode was allowed a standing ovation on an incredible afternoon for the 34 year old, as he took a well deserved early rest with the points in the bag.

But the final score of the afternoon ensured the bonus point, Masi bundling over after being released down the left hand side by Daly. Though Lozowski missed the resulting conversion, the afternoon goes down as Wasps performance of the season, and a perfect way to crown their new home.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Simpson, Goode, Daly, Masi
Con: Goode 2
Pen: Goode 8

For London Irish:
Try: Cross
Con: Homer
Pen: Homer 3

Wasps: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell (c), 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Rob Miller.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Kieran Low, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Geoff Cross, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Leo Halavatau, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Sean Cox, 20 Conor Gilsenan, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Chris Noakes, 23 Alex Lewington.

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Nigel Carrick
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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