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Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 17:38 GMT
Lewsey leads Wasps romp
Mark Van Gisbergen scores in spectacular fashion
Mark Van Gisbergen scores in spectacular fashion
London Wasps 35-11 London Irish

Josh Lewsey returned to the Wasps' starting line-up after his hamstring injury to provide the injection of pace which inspired the Adams Park side to victory.

Lewsey stepped on the accelerator twice in the first half with devastating effect to set up a victory that significantly improves Wasps hopes of automatic qualification for Europe.

The bonus-point victory means Wasps are now level on points with third-placed Leicester Tigers and Leeds in the Zurich Premiership.

Wasps scored four tries, through Lewsey, Mark Van Gisbergen, Fraser Waters and Craig Dowd, with Alex King kicking 15 points.

Match details
Wasps 35
Tries: Lewsey, Van Gisbergen, Waters Dowd
Cons: King 3
Pens: King 3
London Irish 11
Try: Sackey
Pens: Everitt 2

London Irish could only muster a try from Paul Sackey and two penalties from Barry Everitt.

Lewsey scored the opening try in the 11th minute when he latched onto Joe Worsley's pass and raced 40 metres, with Alex King converting.

On the stroke of half-time Lewsey's superb break created the chance for full-back Van Gisbergen to race in for the second try, again converted by King, to stretch the lead to 17-8.

In between Everitt made amends for an early miss by kicking a 40-metre penalty for the Irish, while Sackey showed his pace with a try after fine opportunism by the Exiles.

They spurned an easy kick in favour of a tap penalty and the ball went through six pairs of hands before Sackey sped down the touchline to score in the corner.

Fraser Waters tries to escape the Irish defence
Fraser Waters tries to escape the Irish defence

Everitt cut the deficit to 17-11 with a 49th-minute penalty for Irish, but King kicked two more to keep Wasps in control.

With the usually reliable Everitt having an off-day and missing three penalties and a conversion, Irish were always chasing the game.

Wasps turned up the heat to make sure of the important bonus point in the closing stages.

Lewsey looked odds-on to score another try with a piercing diagonal run, but he was hauled down by an excellent tackle from Irish left-wing Michael Horak.

Wasps' third try came in the 68th minute when centre Waters took a short pass from flanker Paul Volley and went on a barnstorming 35m-run before crashing over the line.

King slotted the conversion and Wasps wrapped things up when prop Craig Dowd barged his way over in the right-hand corner for try number four.


Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Lewsey, Waters, Abbott, Logan; King, Wood; Dowd, Leota, Green, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Bolley, Dallaglio.
Replacements: Biljon, Greening, Rudd, Erinle, Scrivener, Lock, Kershaw.

London Irish: Mapletoft; Sackey, Burrows, Venter, Horak; Everitt, Martens; Worsley, Kirke, Halford, Casey, Kennedy, Gustard, Danaher, Sheasby.
Replacements: Barrett, Appleford, Dawson, Flavin, Delaney, Hatley, Hardwick.

Referee: P Honiss (New Zealand)

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