Wasps scrap to bonus point win

Date published: November 28 2015

Wasps left it late but came away from Twickenham with a bonus point victory over London Irish, producing a 33-15 win.

In the second part of the Premiership's Double Header it was a mixed performance from Wasps as they overcame a spirited London Irish side.

In the first half tries from Frank Halai and Johnny Williams saw the sides go into the break separated by just three points.

After the closely contested first half Wasps ran away with the match in the second. Further tries from Halai, Thomas Young and Elliot Daly saw Wasps earn a comprehensive victory, moving them up to fourth in the table.

A positive for the Exiles will have been a fantastic double from 19-year-old centre Williams who added to his first half try with an excellent effort in the second half – which should give them hope as they look to earn their first win of the season.

Ruaridh Jackson gave Wasps the early advantage with a penalty in the fourth minute. The Exiles responded in the eighth minute, Chris Noakes scoring a penalty for his side to draw level. Jackson kicked his second penalty of the match in the 18th minute before Wasps finally bucked the goalkicking trend in the 37th minute with at try through Frank Halai.

Wasps, playing an advantage after the Exiles twice went off their feet at the ruck, pounced with Joe Simpson finding Halai in space for the winger to cross in the corner.

However, this try was countered just three minutes later – a try from Johnny Williams on his Premiership debut after Irish moved the ball quickly along their back line before the centre crashed through the Wasps defence.

This was the last act of the match as the teams went into half time with Wasps leading 11-8.

After the break Wasps extended their advantage. In the 49th minute Elliot Daly found some space and exploited it, evading the tackles of two defenders before touching down. Jackson converted to give Wasps a 10-point lead.

Jimmy Gopperth returned from his three-week ban when he was brought on the 50th minute and was successful with his first kick in the 54th minute, scoring a penalty.

Williams got his second try of the match for the Exiles in the 57th minute as he seized upon a dinked kick from Asaeli Tikoirotuma to score – Noakes converting to cut the deficit to six points.

Wasps got their third try of the match with ten minutes to go, the forwards driving over the line with Thomas Young the man who got the ball down and Gopperth secured the conversion giving them breathing space.

Halai scored Wasps' bonus point try in the 75th minute after a blistering counter-attack as Gopperth hit the post with his conversion attempt, and it proved to be the last score of the match, leaving the score at 15-33.

The scorers:

For Irish:
Tries: Williams 2
Con: Noakes
Pens: Noakes

For Wasps:
Tries: Halai 2, Daly, Young
Cons: Jackson, Gopperth
Pens: Jackson 2, Gopperth

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Tom Fowlie, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Ofisa Treviranus 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 Matt Symons (c), 4 Eoin Sheriff, 3 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Theo Brophy-Clews, 23 Fergus Mulchrone.

Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Ben Jacobs, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Edd Shervington, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Brendan Macken.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Sean Davey