Premiership: Wasps 24-16 London Irish
|Wasps (7) 24|
|Tries: Cruse 2, Robson Cons: Cipriani 3 Pen: Cipriani|
|London Irish (0) 16|
|Tries: Porecki, Du Plessis Pens: Bell 2|
Wasps climbed into second in the Premiership table with victory over resurgent bottom club London Irish.
It looked a hard-fought but routine win at the Ricoh Arena when converted tries from hooker Tom Cruse and Dan Robson put the hosts 14-0 up on 49 minutes.
Tries from Dave Porecki and Petrus du Plessis helped the Exiles back to just 17-16 down with the kick to come.
But Tommy Bell missed the conversion - and a second converted charge-down try by Cruse stretched Wasps clear.
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With Worcester ending up well beaten at home by Leicester, Irish remain 12 points adrift at the bottom - but now with just five games left.
Fit-again Danny Cipriani defied the wet conditions to land all three conversions and a penalty for a nine-point haul as Wasps stretched their Premiership run to just one defeat in 11 games.
It might have been different if Irish could have gone ahead five minutes from time after Du Plessis went over from the back of the maul.
But, although not helped as he stood over the ball by vocal hostility from sections of the home crowd, Bell missed the conversion which was not too wide out and kickable.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
"To be totally honest, I thought the best team lost.
"We were really poor, but I suppose the big positive is, at the end of the day, we found a way to win.
"I would have settled for being where we are after this block of Premiership fixtures, but certainly this performance leaves a bitter taste in the mouth."
Nick Kennedy told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"The boys are obviously very down and, as coaches, we're extremely proud of the players. They fought for everything, right to the end, even when the game was lost.
"The way they clawed their way back into the game from a big deficit and the way we took the game to Wasps with our maul and our scrum, I'm just very, very proud of the effort.
"It's the story of our season so far. We came very, very close with a lot of fight and endeavour and ultimately ending up losing to an error.
"We have to beat Gloucester at home in three weeks' time. That's all our focus is at the moment. That's all we're worried about."
Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, Macken, Gopperth, Bassett; Cipriani, Robson; McIntryre, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Gaskell (capt), Rowlands, Johnson, Young, Thompson.
Replacements: TJ Harris, B Harris, Stuart, Myall, Willis, Simpson, Miller, James.
London Irish: Marshall; Cokanasiga, Fowlie, Williams, Lewington; Tonks, Van Zyl; Franks, Paice, Hoskins, Van der Merwe (capt), Paulo, Botha, Gilsenan, Treviranus.
Replacements: Porecki, Elrington, Du Plessis, De Chaves, Schatz, Steele, Bell, Tikoirotuma.
Sin bin: Paice (5).
Referee: Tom Foley.