Match Centre: London Irish 42-42 Wasps

Paddy Jackson kicked five conversions for London Irish
Paddy Jackson kicked five conversions for London Irish

London Irish 42-42 Wasps, Community Stadium

London Irish made an incredible comeback including a penalty try in the added minutes as they came from 25 points behind to secure a 42-42 draw against London Irish at Community Stadium on Sunday.

This is also the fifth draw of the season for the Exiles as they are at eighth place in the table with now both the teams look to make a bid for European Champions Cup qualification for the next season.

Wasps were the first to open the account in the 13th minute as Gabriel Oghre got over the line at the back of a rolling maul in the 13th minute and Jimmy Gopperth kicked the conversion to make it 0-7.

The home side responded back strongly as a well timed offload from Tom Pearson sent Kyle Rowe over in the 17th minute and seven minutes later Ollie Hassell-Collins covered good grounds before sending an inside pass for Tom Parton to touchdown in the 24th minute. Paddy Jackson kicked both the conversions to make it 14-7.

The momentum once again swung towards Wasps, who had a strong finish to the opening half with tries from Francois Hougaard (29') and Charlie Atkinson (34') while Gopperth kicked two conversions and followed with a penalty goal to take the visitors to a 14-24 lead heading into the break.

Lee Blackett's men extended their momentum into the second half as Robson sent a pass for Francois Hougaard to touchdown. Gopperth missed out on the conversion but made amends with a penalty goal to make it 14-32 and it soon became 14-39 after Josh Bassett seared to the Irish 22 before passing to Zach Kibirige for their fifth try.

London Irish made an incredible comeback in the final 12 minutes of the game as Jackson found touch and Pearson maneuvered off the following lineout to bundle over, the Irishman scoring his third conversion of the afternoon. With Henry Arundell and Ollie Hassell-Collins also going over in the 72nd and 76th minutes respectively, the Exiles got the difference down to 35-39 with three minutes left.

A penalty kick from Jacob Umaga in the 79th minute provided Wasps a breather but the game turned on its head with Joe Launchbury sin-binned in the added minutes for collapsing a maul that also resulted in a penalty try for the hosts with the game ending in a 42-42 draw.

Team line up:

London Irish: Parton; Rowe, Rona, Van Rensburg, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Phipps; Goodrick-Clarke, Creevy, Hoskins, Nott, Simmons, Rogerson (capt), Pearson, O'Brien.

Reserves: Cornish, Gigena, Parker, Mafi, Tuisue, White, Joseph, Arundell.

Wasps: Kibirige; Hougaard, Fekitoa, Gopperth, Bassett; Atkinson, Robson; West, Oghre, Alo, Launchbury (capt), Stooke, Shields, J Willis, T Willis.

Reserves: Frost, Harris, Millar-Mills, Gaskell, Young, Porter, Umaga, Odogwu.

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