Wasps 28 London Irish 14: Wasps break their duck as Irish suffer spate of injuries

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The Independent Online

Wasps finally recorded their first win in the Premiership at the fifth time of asking, and although they perhaps should have added a try-scoring bonus point they were still pleased to break their duck.

They were a little fortunate. London Irish had their moments and could well have nicked it, or at least could have run Wasps closer than they did.

But fate was against the Exiles. They were plagued with injuries and did not help themselves by committing numerous errors. Wasps bombarded the Irish full-back, Delon Armitage, with high balls; their pack did them proud at set-piece, line-out and in the loose; and the backs looked hungry and dangerous in a game which was punctuated far too often by the whistle and the incursion of medics.

There seemed to be more injuries than points in the first half. The stretcher was used to cart off the Wasps tight-head, Pat Barnard, in the seventh minute of added time. The South African injured his right calf and will have a scan today. But Irish seemed to get the worst of things. Steffan Armitage, their open-side, was dropped to the ground by a blow to his right eye and had to leave the field to have a nasty-looking gash stitched. He was forced off in the second half for further treatment.

They then lost their outside centre, Dominic Shabbo, who, metres short of the Wasps' line and certain to score, suddenly fell to the ground. The diagnosis was a bad hamstring injury.

The Wasps lock Richard Birkett was forced off in the second half, with a cut head, then shortly afterwards his replacement, John Hart, was treated for a bloody nose.

There was also some rugby, the most striking passage coming from Irish in the second half when they denied Wasps a touch of the ball for fully 90 seconds before Delon Armitage went over for a fine try.

Wasps had two of their three tries before half-time, the lock George Skivington having burst clear some 25 metres out to rumble over the line. A high ball from Riki Flutey in the 35th minute cleared the way for Danny Cipriani to race over in the left hand corner for the second five-pointer.

The third try arrived 70 seconds into the second half when the No8, James Haskell, sent Tom Voyce in.

Wasps: Tries Skivington, Cipriani, Voyce; Conversions van Gisbergen 2; Penalties van Gisbergen 3. London Irish: Try D Armitage; Penalties Hickey 3.

Wasps: M van Gisbergen; D Doherty, F Waters, R Flutey, T Voyce; D Cipriani, E Reddan (capt); M Holford (C Beech, 72), J Ward, P Barnard (N Adams, 40+4), G Skivington, R Birkett (J Hart, 46-54), D Leo (J Hart, 54), R Webber (H Ellis, 80), J Haskell.

London Irish: D Armitage; T Ojo, D Shabbo (J Staunton, 40), S Mapusua, S Tagicakibau; E Hickey (W Fury, 65), P Hodgson; D Murphy (T Warren, 73), D Paice (S Mackie, 73), T Lea'aetoa, N Kennedy, B Casey (capt), D Danaher, S Armitage (P Murphy, 22-32; 65-), R Thorpe (K Roche, 66).

Referee: R Maybank (London)

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