Tagicakibau double beats Wasps

27th Sep 2009, 19:00

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Winning run: London Irish on a roll

Winning run: London Irish on a roll

London Irish had wing Sailosi Tagicakibau to thank as they beat Wasps 28-16 to move second in the Guinness Premiership table.

London Irish had in-form wing Sailosi Tagicakibau to thank as they beat Wasps 28-16 to move second in the Guinness Premiership on Sunday.

The Exiles' finisher crossed for a try in each half at the Madejski Stadium, with the latter an intercept score that saw him outpace Tom Varndell to the whitewash.

Fly-half Ryan Lamb contributed fifteen points as Irish produced another all-action display to underline their status as great entertainers.

They started the day as the league's leading try scorers after producing successive bonus-point victories over Gloucester and Leeds, but Wasps were never going to be as accommodating.

Serge Betsen's side arrived at the Madejski Stadium with a 100 per cent record and although lacking Irish's electrifying ability to attack from deep, they had plenty of ambition.

For all their endeavour, however, their only try came from referee Dave Pearson, who correctly went under the posts for Adam Thompstone's illegal tackle on Dominic Waldouck.

Danny Cipriani kicked the remainder of the points as Wasps were beaten, leaving Saracens as the only team with four victories from four matches.

They lacked Irish's clinical touch, which was in evidence during a flying start that saw the Exiles cross with just two minutes on the clock.

Attempting to collect a chip through, Wasps full-back Lachlan Mitchell dithered for too long and was bundled into touch in goal.

Centre Seilala Mapusua's muscular run caused confusion in the Wasps defence at the ensuing scrum and Irish pounced, Peter Hewat arriving to create the overlap before feeding Tagicakibau the scoring pass.

Cipriani landed a long-range penalty, missed two more and then added a second from in front of the posts as Wasps began to settle.

The high tempo continued as Lamb ripped the ball from Waldouck and sprinted free with Thompstone and Mapusua continuing a move that was concluded by Lamb's drop goal.

Two penalties from the Irish fly-half followed and although kicking was dominating the scoreboard, the match was proving an thrilling spectacle.

The Exiles' intention was to move possession wide as early as quickly as possible, even if that meant fly-hacking the ball backwards.

One such moment sent Tagicakibau flying into space before the Samoan winger was eventually halted by Mitchell.

Wasps lock Richard Birkett was sin-binned for killing the ball but Irish could make little headway in his absence.

Cipriani and Lamb swapped penalties shortly into a second half that came alive when Wasps were denied a certain try because of an illegal tackle from Thompstone.

A quickly-taken line-out fell to Waldouck who hacked ahead but just as the England prospect but was about to gather and score, he was taken out by Thompstone. Pearson awarded the penalty try, converted by Cipriani, and sent the Exiles' wing to the sin bin.

Irish then moved 23-16 ahead with a long-range drop-goal by Hewat and a penalty from Lamb, tightening the screw with some physical forward play.

But the decisive blow was struck in the 62nd minute when centre Ben Jacobs saw his pass to Paul Sackey intercepted by Tagicakibau, who made light work of the race to the line as Varndell could only watch.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Tries: Tagicakibau 2
Pen: Lamb 4
Drop: Lamb, Hewat

For Wasps:
Tries: Penalty
Con: Cipriani
Pen: Cipriani 3

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Dan Murphy, 17 Danie Coetzee, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Andy Perry, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Chris Malone, 22 Peter Richards, 23 Alfredo Lalanne.

London Wasps: 15 Lachlan Mitchell, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 John Hart, 7 Serge Betsen (c), 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 George Skivington, 3 Phil Vickery , 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Dan Ward-Smith, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Dave Walder, 23 Mark Odejobi.

Referee: Dave Pearson
Assistant referees: Bob Mullis, Alan Biggs
Television match official: Roy Marfleet