Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Wasps return to Wycombe with a win
WASPS 30, LONDON IRISH 12.
WASPS completed a fine pre-season programme with an encouraging 30-12 defeat of London Irish at Adams Park this afternoon.
The scoreline might have flattered Wasps slightly with Irish having a woeful day off the tee, missing all three of their penalties, but the home team were worthy winners.
After absorbing Exiles' pressure in a sluggish opening quarter, Dai Young's team began to turn the screw and three tries coupled with a 100 per cent kicking return from new fly half Andy Goode was the result.
Wasps will certainly expect more of a threat from their backs as the season progresses, but the pack looks in fine fettle and, compared to 12 months ago, the black and golds are streets ahead. Wasps went close in first minute when a decent backs move saw Tom Varndell join the line and chip through for opposite wing Josh Bassett, but he ran out space in the corner.
For Wasps fans, that was the only moment of excitement in the opening quarter as Irish began powerfully and spent most of the first 20 mins in the Wasps half.
Two penalties inside the first ten minute were the reward but Tom Homer pulled the first one – and his groin for good measure – and Shane Geraghty was off target with their second attempt.
Apart from that, Wasps' defence looked largely untroubled as the structures put in place by new coach Brad Davis stood up to a decent examination by the Exiles.
The closest Irish came in the opening stages was when they stole the ball from a Wasps scrum and sent winger Andrew Fenby racing down the touchline.
Wasps scampered back to shut him out, and within minutes had gone over themselves for the first points of the match.
Tom Varndell initiated the attack when he took off just inside the Irish half, and although his kick chase bobbled into touch Wasps remained on the front foot and from the line out drove Guy Thompson over.
Andy Goode duly converted to make it 7-0, and from then until the break it was all Wasps.
Goode stretched the lead to 13-0 after 40 minutes with two accurate penalties, and the lead would have been greater had they claimed the second try they threatened on three separate occasions.
Varndell was the first to threaten when he spotted a gap and tried to spear through it, before Wasps went close again following Goode's crossfield chip.
For a moment Wasps were overloaded, but the Irish cover defence swept across to save the day.
Wasps created a third chance with a slick backs move that they should really have finished off with 35 minutes played, but it didn't matter as the forwards did the business themselves ten minutes after the restart with a penalty try after twice steamrollering the visiting pack.
Goode added the extras for 20-0, before Wasps began unloading their bench with the introduction of Christian Wade, Charlie Davies and James Cannon.
But despite that influx, the second wind belonged to Irish and two Jon Fisher tries either side of Jon Carlisle's 50m penalty made it 23-12.
However, those shots across the bows reawakened Wasps and a strong finish was rewarded with their second penalty try, awarded after Charlie Hayter was taken out high just before he could go over.
Comments are closed on this article.