Wasps claim first win

New boy Jones helps banish Exiles with perfect kicking display

Last Updated: 15/09/12 6:25pm

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Wasps claimed their first Aviva Premiership win of the season with a 43-14 victory over London Irish on Saturday.

Stephen Jones landed 23 points on his Wasps debut while two tries from Tom Varndell and one each from scrum-half Joe Simpson and replacement prop Zak Taulafo ensured a bonus point win.

The 34-year-old Welshman, with 104 caps for his country, produced a perfect kicking performance for his new club, slotting five penalties and four conversions.

Irish replied with a try from England Under-20 winger Marland Yarde and three penalties from fly-half Steven Shingler but suffered their third successive defeat and have now conceded 123 points.

Jones, replacing fellow-Welshman Nick Robinson after missing the first two matches with a back spasm, opened his Wasps account with a fifth-minute penalty.

Irish lost prop Leo Halavatau in the 10th minute and four minutes later they missed out on the opening try when flanker Ofisa Treviranus knocked on as he crashed his way over.

Blistering

But they drew level in the 15th minute with a Shingler penalty after the Wasps scrum was penalised and then grabbed the opening touchdown after 25 minutes when Yarde conjured a try out of nothing.

There seemed little danger when centres Sailosi Tagicakibau and Jonathan Joseph combined to supply Yarde.

But the winger showed the ball, jinked and produced a burst of blistering pace to leave four defenders for dead before he crossed in the corner.

With Shingler off the pitch receiving treatment for a blood injury, full-back Tom Homer took over kicking duties but missed the conversion.

Wasps were denied a try in the 28th minute when they were brought back for an earlier forward pass after full-back Hugh Southwell sent Varndell racing over in the left corner.

But they forced two penalties, both landed by Jones - the second from just inside the Irish half - to go 9-8 ahead before Shingler restored the Irish lead with a superbly-struck last kick of the first half.

Impressive

The second half was only a minute old when Jones kicked his fourth penalty as Wasps regained the lead after Irish offended at the breakdown.

They forged further ahead when Varndell went over in the left corner for a well-worked try. After right wing Christian Wade split the Irish defence, and Southwell again provided the final pass.

Shingler kicked his third penalty to cut the Irish deficit to five points but ut Wasps, who introduced England back-row man James Haskell from the bench, all but sealed victory when Simpson took the ball from the base of a ruck and darted in for their second try, converted by Jones.

The Welshman landed his fifth penalty before Wasps drove Taulafo, scorer of a hat-trick of tries for Wasps in the A team game against Irish last Monday, over in the left corner two minutes from time.

But Wasps had not finished. Simpson burst 50 metres from inside his own half before passing to Varndell who raced round behind the posts to touch down. Jones rounded off a hugely impressive debut by converting the final two tries.

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