4th Dec, 2016

Wasps defeat old rivals London Irish at Twickenham

Steve Carpenter 1st Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A FIRST away win of the season against old rivals London Irish pushed Wasps closer to the top four in the Aviva Premiership.

Frank Halai scored twice as Wasps recorded a 33-15 victory against Irish Twickenham stadium on Saturday.

The win temporarily moved Wasps into the top four, but Leicester’s win on Sunday pushes Dai Young’s side back down to fifth.

Two penalties by Ruaridh Jackson and a converted try by Frank Halai handed Wasps a 13-3 lead but a Chris Noakes penalty and a Johnny Williams try kept Irish in contention by the mid-way point.

After the Wasps extended their lead thanks a superb team try which was finished by Elliot Daly and converted by Jackson.

Jimmy Gopperth, who had replaced Jackson, made it 21-8 with a 35-metre kick straight in front of the post before Irish came back again with Williams scoring his second try of the match to cut the deficit to just six points.

But two tries in the final ten minutes from Thomas Young and a second for Halai wrapped up a hard-fought win for Wasps.

“We knew it was going to be tough coming into this game,” said Wasps co-captain Matt Mullan

“London Irish may not have had the results but you can see in their performances that it was going to be tough.

“They’ve come in off the back of some better performances in Europe so we knew it was going to be tough.

“But thankfully we won. It wasn’t our best performance but we dug in, stuck to the script and eventually we managed to score that bonus point.”

Nathan Hughes put in another man-of-the-match performance and Mullan believes he has become an important member of Dai Young’s team.

“I think he’s really added to his game, he’s got more than just his carrying ability.

“He’s great for us – a brilliant member of the squad, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.

“He’s someone we can get really behind. You see him carrying and brushing people off so he’s setting a high standard for everyone to follow.”

Wasps return to action this Saturday when they host Exeter this Saturday at the Ricoh.