Wasps 20 London Irish 23 match report: Shane Geraghty is Irish hero after Tomas O’Leary plays the villain

Scrum-half was shown a straight red card for stamping on the head of former England flanker James Haskell

Adams Park

Until these exiled clubs move back nearer the capital – both are under relatively recent new ownership, and while plans for a relocation towards London are only ever whispered about, neither Wasps nor London Irish ever give the impression they are cock-a-hoop at renting their home stadiums in High Wycombe and Reading respectively – this match will be a meeting, county-wise at least, of Berks versus Bucks.

The visitors’ scrum-half Tomas O’Leary played the part of berk perfectly, being sent off for treading on the head of Wasps’ England flanker James Haskell early in the second half, but a dropped goal by Shane Geraghty six minutes before the end ensured London Irish won back-to-back away matches in the Premiership for the first time in more than three years.

O’Leary may face a long ban for the incident that his director of rugby Brian Smith said he hadn’t seen, but which the scrum-half had “put his hands up to” afterwards. Irish were ahead by 17-11 after 48 minutes of a messy match epitomised by the fight for possession after the tackle usually being lost by Wasps, whose forwards were standoffish and hesitant by comparison with to an Irish pack with a mean streak. Haskell, in a bright blue scrum cap, was lying over the ball and O’Leary, frustrated at that no doubt, made a gentle downward prod with his foot. Still the referee Tim Wigglesworth appeared not to have spotted a fairly blatant act, and he had awarded Irish a kickable penalty before calling for a video review that brought O’Leary a straight red card.

“It made the mountain a whole lot steeper,” said Smith, whose team had won once in 13 previous visits to Adams Park but were hugely heartened by last week’s win at the then league leaders, Saracens. “We want to be taken seriously, we want to be respected, and this result beats the Saracens one,” said Smith, who warned he would review instances of O’Leary’s opposite number Joe Simpson “tap-dancing” in rucks – an accusation dismissed as “silly” by Smith’s Wasps counterpart Dai Young, whohad other concerns. “We were beaten by a team that wanted it a bit more,” he said.

One possible scenario for European qualification at the end of this season – after which Wasps will be bolstered by quality signings in Wales lock Bradley Davies and Sale’s Rob Miller and James Gaskell – is a play-off between the seventh placed teams in England and France. That might involve Wasps or Irish but the muted crowd here appeared not overly enthused by the mid-table fare. They did though have three first-half tries to enjoy, plus the fraught finish.

Irish were 14 points ahead with a breeze behind them after Nic Rouse charged down Elliot Daly on the Wasps goalline and Ian Humphreys scored the opening try in the fifth minute, then the hooker David Paice scrambled over after 21 minutes after the Wasps defence cracked.

With two conversions and a penalty by James O’Connor to one penalty from Joe Carlisle – Andy Goode is nursing a knee injury – it needed a try on 23 minutes by James Short to keep the home team in range. Short latched on to Andrea Masi’s grubber kick as Wasps played with a penalty advantage and the wing got the video verdict.

Wasps blew a marvellous line-out position with a crooked throw and failed to profit, too, when Irish were pinged for incorrect binding at the resulting scrum. But Carlisle accumulated four penalty goals after the interval, to one by O’Connor, as Wasps’ one-man edge told. With the scores tied at 20-20, some efficient pick-and-goes left O’Leary’s stand-in Darren Allinson to feed Geraghty for the winning kick.

Line-ups:

London Wasps: E Daly; W Helu, A Masi, C Bell (captain), J Short; J Carlisle, J Simpson (C Davies, 60); M Mullan (S McIntyre, 70), C Festuccia (T Lindsay, 67), J Cooper-Woolley (P Swainston, 70-80), T Palmer (E Lozada, 32-35, 41), K Myall (N Hughes, 76), A Johnson, J Haskell, S Jones (Hughes, 60-76).

London Irish: J O’Connor; A Lewington (T Ojo, 76), E Sheridan, S Geraghty (M Dorrian, 80), A Fenby; I Humphreys (D Allinson, 56), T O’Leary; M Parr (J Yapp, 58), D Paice (J Stevens, 76), J Hagan (L Halavatau, 76), G Skivington (captain), N Rouse (J Sinclair, 67), K Low, B Cowan, O Treviranus (G Ellis, 76).

Referee: T Wigglesworth (Yorkshire).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us