Planet Rugby

Wasps defence holds firm

30th November 2013 16:54

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topsy ojo london irish london wasps

No celebration: Topsy Ojo

A rock-solid defensive performance late in the game helped Wasps defeat local rivals London Irish 19-12 at the Madejski Stadium.

Head coach Dai Young was left fuming by the manner in which his side capitulated in front of their own supporters against Bath a week ago, but his charges responded well with a display full of grit and character.

The forwards will take the plaudits after a dominant display in stark contrast to their previous effort.

London Irish were determined to mark Topsy Ojo's 200th appearance with a win and end a five-match losing streak, and they started in the best possible fashion when James O'Connor kicked a second minute penalty.

O'Connor and Andy Goode traded three-pointers as defences remained on top before the Australian was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock on - an act which also saw Wasps awarded a penalty try - after a neat chip ahead by his opposite number.

Shane Geraghty pulled three points back for Irish just before the break after Wasps were penalised for crossing.

With Irish still down to 14 men Goode extended Wasps' lead shortly after the re-start with his third penalty of the afternoon.

Irish upped the tempo when restored to their full quota of players and O'Connor nailed one of two attempts at goal to close the gap to four points.

But fittingly the final act came from the outstanding Goode, who made the game safe with a drop goal.

The scorers:

For Irish:
Pens: O'Connor 3, Geraghty
Yellow Card: O'Connor

For Wasps:
Try: Penalty
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 3
Drop Goal: Goode

London Irish: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 George Skivington (c), 4 Ian Gough, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Jimmy Stevens, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Nic Rouse, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Guy Armitage, 22 Myles Dorrian, 23 Darren Allinson.

London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Chris Bell (c), 12 Charlie Hayter, 11 Will Helu, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 James Haskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Tom Palmer, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Ben Jacobs.

Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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