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LV= Cup: Brad Davis pleased after Wasps beat London Irish 22-15
I am very disappointed with our start; they were much more physical and more urgent than us as we lacked any intensity. After that our fighting qualities showed through and if we had kicked our goals it would have been an even game.
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Wasps coach Brad Davis was pleased with the way the home side dug in to secure a 22-15 win over London Irish in the LV= Cup.
Wasps had built up an early 19-5 lead with tries from Charlie Davies, Ed Jackson and Josh Bassett before Irish responded with tries from Chris Hala'ufia and Jamie Hagan to add to an earlier one from Sailosi Tagicakibau.
But all three of Irish's tries went unconverted which meant Joe Carlisle's seven points with the boot proved crucial for the hosts as they secured their first win of this year's competition.
Davis said: "Conditions weren't great but we controlled the first 40 minutes really well.
"We knew we would be under the cosh in the second half but we dug in at the end to see the game out.
"The Irish had some pretty big names in their line-up and we knew it was going to be a test for us.
"We need to show that we want to be a top-six side and therefore it is important to rotate your squad."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith blamed his side's poor start for the defeat which left them still without a win in this season's competition.
"I am very disappointed with our start; they were much more physical and more urgent than us as we lacked any intensity. After that our fighting qualities showed through and if we had kicked our goals it would have been an even game," said Smith.
Irish fielded the stronger side on paper as they were keen to maintain momentum, but Smith chose to take some of his leading players off at half-time when the Irish only trailed 19-10 and the second-half conditions were soon to be in their favour.
Smith added: "It was always our plan to take off some of our key players at half-time as we have to look after them in readiness for the big games that lie ahead.
"The conditions became a lottery, but in the end we turned the ball over very easily and weren't good enough."
The game was marred by an injury to Irish centre Guy Armitage, who left the field on a stretcher, but Smith reported: "Fortunately it only appears to be a cartilage problem and hopefully there is no ligament damage.
"His knee locked and it has done this twice before, but hopefully he will be okay."