Wasps' 18-13 home win over London Irish was the most significant result in the Aviva Premiership matches played on Saturday, constituting a necessary response to Newcastle's draw with the leaders, Harlequins, on Friday night. The win put Wasps eight points clear of the Falcons at the bottom with five games to play. The last of those is Wasps v Newcastle on 5 May.
David Young, the Wasps director of rugby, said: "We turned the screw in the scrum and found the way to win. In difficult circumstances the players realised how important this result was – if we had lost it would have been 10 on the trot. This has been a difficult couple of months.
"We are certainly nowhere out of the woods yet because Newcastle are a good team and are going to win some of their games so we've got to keep winning. It's in our own hands."
Wasps won with six Nicky Robinson penalties to a try by Sailosi Tagicakibau and eight points from Steve Shingler – but they also lost their England scrum-half, Joe Simpson, to a dislocated shoulder.
There were more tries elsewhere – Bath scored five to two in a 36-17 win over Worcester at the Rec that moved them up to eighth and Exeter got five to two in a 37-12 win over Sale at Sandy Park. The Chiefs are fifth, right in the hunt for a play-off place and Heineken Cup qualification.
Their head coach, Rob Baxter, said: "We are a good rugby side, we have got ambition, we are looking up the table and hunting things down."