Nicky Robinson kicked six penalties to help Wasps to their first win in six starts in all competitions as they claimed a 18-13 success over London Irish at Adams Park on Saturday to give their survival hopes a much-needed boost..
In a tense and evenly-matched first half, defences came out on top as neither side was able to take full advantage of the attacking opportunities that came their way.
20-year-old Joe Launchbury set the tone with a couple of big tackles for Wasps early on and arguably the best chances came from charged down kicks with Dom Waldouck and Jonathan Joseph nearly profiting.
With both teams lacking in confidence though and spells of wind and rain not making it any easier, fly-halves Nicky Robinson and Steve Shingler settled for matching each other kick for kick to leave the score 6-6 at the break.
Wasps' attack was not helped midway through the first half either as Joe Simpson was forced from the field with a dislocated shoulder.
But, despite not coming any closer to crossing the try-line, they kept the pressure on their opponents. And Robinson continued his good form with the boot, notching two further penalties to make it 12-6 to the home side going into the final quarter.
With quarter of an hour remaining though, the Irish backline finally found their cutting edge as towering winger Sailosi Tagicakibau muscled his way past a couple of tacklers on his way to scoring in the corner.
The struggling hosts could have been forgiven for fearing the worst as Shingler knocked over the conversion to give his side the lead but they didn't give up and were almost immediately back on the front foot.
And two huge scrums from the home pack in the final ten minutes resulted in penalties, which Robinson duly despatched to secure a vital win for Wasps in their quest for survival.
Pens: Robinson 6
For London Irish:
Pens: Shingler 2
London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jack Wallace, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Joe Launchbury, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 James Cannon, 3 Simon McIntyre, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Paul Emerick.
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Daniel Bowden, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Ross Samson , 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Nick Kennedy (c), 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 James Buckland,1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Clarke Dermody, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 Kieran Roche, 20 David Sisi, 21 Tom Homer, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Darren Allinson.
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Martin Fox