Wasps 23 London Irish 17: Crucial try from Lewsey sinks Irish

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The Independent Online

Josh Lewsey did not take his inactivity last weekend too graciously. The World Cup winner, ex-soldier and adventurer, was so disgusted with his lack of action during Wasps' game against Saracens at Twickenham that instead of heading down to Richmond for a beer like the other 50,000 souls in the ground he punished himself with a private training session at HQ.

It bore dividends last night as he scored the crucial try, chipping Topsy Ojo, and gathering his own kick to touch down just before the break. That gave Wasps a 14-8 lead they would never relinquish, despite the trickery of the Irish fly-half Riki Flutey, who kept the Exiles in touch with his boot.

Lewsey was not picked for the England tour of Australia so he took the easy option, and climbed K2 instead and some may say that the national team's attempt to get back to the top of world rugby is a challenge of similar altitude. Last week's win was achieved when Wasps took the hard-nosed option, closed the game down and left Lewsey out with the fairies.

Wasps' coach Shaun Edwards said: "He felt a bit out of it last week. He was chasing kicks and you've got to have both those styles in your armoury." Just over 7,000 fans, of London teams, travelled beyond the confines of their Oyster Cards, to see Jeremy Staunton, on as a replacement for Alex King, drop the goal after 73 minutes that finished the Irish off. It represented a triumph for Wasps, who have now won the first two games of the season for the first time in a decade.

For Irish Riki Flutey, last weekend's hero at Twickenham, was a pain throughout and when he kicked his fourth penalty goal of the night he secured Irish a losing bonus point, although it could have been much more.

However, it was not enough to sort out a Wasps side who had the lion's share of the ball and allowed Alex King the chance to nail three first-half penalties and give the hosts a lead they would never relinquish.

Wasps: Tries Lewsey; Penalties King 4, Staunton; Drop goal Staunton. London Irish: Tries Ojo; Penalties Flutey 4.

Wasps: T Voyce; P Sackey, A Erinle, R Hoadley, J Lewsey; A King (J Staunton, 61), S Amor (E Reddan, 51); T Payne, J Ward (R Ibanez, 66), P Bracken, M Purdy (T Rees, 77), T Palmer, D Leo, J Worsley, J Hart (capt).

London Irish: D Armitage; T Ojo, D Feaunati (M Horak, 77), S Geraghty (M Horak, 33-37), S Tagicakibau; R Flutey, P Hodgson; T Lea'aetoa (N Hatley, 52), D Coetzee (R Russell, 52), R Skuses (D Fitter, h-t), N Kennedy, B Casey (capt, J Hudson, 52), K Roche, D Danaher (R Russell 16-22), J Leguizamon (P Murphy, h-t).

Referee: S Davey (RFU).

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