TOM Howe says Wasps’ win over London Irish on Saturday was for the first team players who weren’t involved.
Wasps were already out of the LV=Cup before kick-off, but there was no lack of motivation against a strong Irish XV that included a raft of first team players.
But first half tries from Charlie Davies, Ed Jackson and Josh Bassett put them in control at 19-5.
Two of the three tries came after fly half Joe Carlisle kicked penalties to the corner and that ambition and confidence informed their whole performance.
Howe said: “We’ve been on a good winning streak so to keep that momentum going was a good way to show the other teams that we mean business.
“We used their teamsheet as motivation because we knew we couldn’t go into the game half-hearted, and we wanted to keep the momentum going for the guys who didn’t play today.
“It would have been a shame to let them down.”
Irish got back into the game with tries of their own through Sailosi Tagicakibau, Chris Hala'ufia and then Jamie Hagan, but despite playing against an apocalyptical squall after the break Wasps defended stoutly to protect the victory.
Howe said: “It was dry in the first half, but as soon as we came out of the tunnel for the second half it started raining so it turned from a backs game into a forwards game.
“But what a victory. They were at full-strength so we’re really pleased with the win.”
Howe was one of a handful of players on the fringes of the squad who did themselves no harm in a result which will go some way to earning the trust of director of rugby Dai Young.
He said: “For someone like me who only gets a few opportunities a year, it means you have to step up and play well when you do play.
“That was my fourth game for Wasps, but it was my first win in a Wasps shirt so that was incredible.
“It was also my first start at Adams Park too and my mum went a bit crazy with the tickets.
“I had about 25 tickets for friends and family. My mum and dad were there and I can always hear my dad’s voice.
“I don’t know what it is, but whenever he shouts I can hear him. I don’t look out for him, but I can hear where he is.
“He just shouts my name and lets me know he’s there.
“My grandad there too, and it was the first time he’s watched me play for Wasps.
“That was special. I had to go out there and play well I thought I had a good game.
“Our focus was the defence and I was opposite Tagicakibau. He’s a big ball carrier so my aim was just to get in his face, get off the line quick with the boys and we managed to drag him down.
“But I think a few of us definitely stepped up.”