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Exiles take sting out of Wasps
Irish cruise to easy win at Twickenham
Wasps began their Guinness Premiership title defence in disappointing fashion as London Irish cruised to an easy 26-14 win at Twickenham on Saturday.
Irish capitalised on the defending champions' weakness at the line-out with Chris Hala'ufia and Richard Thorpe both crossing following mistakes from the set-piece
Peter Hewat maintained a 100 percent kicking record to finish his afternoon with 16 points and guarantee victory for the Exiles.
Hala'ufia's score came in the sixth-minute after Richard Birkett's attempted catch deflected into the hands of the Tongan number eight, who went over from close range.
Hewat soon added that conversion, with a penalty to give Irish a 10-0 lead and a sustained period of pressure by the Exiles was rewarded with another penalty by the Australian full-back.
Wasps lineout difficulties were again exposed in the 54th minute when Thorpe came up with the ball and brushed off a poor tackle from Tom Voyce to score.
Tom Rees and Eoin Reddan both touched down for Wasps in the final quarter to give the scoreline some respectability.
Rees exploited the gap in a static Irish defence and Ireland scrum-half Reddan capitalised on a slip by player-coach Mike Catt to cross late on.
But two quick penalties from Hewat put the result beyond doubt and gives Irish, who missed out on Heineken Cup qualification after finishing seventh last season, a perfect start to their campaign.
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle Falcons 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester Tigers 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle Falcons 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale Sharks 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com