Premiership: Wasps 48-16 London Irish

Andy Goode
Goode scored Wasps' second try in a bonus point win in front of a crowd of over 28,000 at the Ricoh Arena
Wasps (18) 48
Tries: Simpson, Goode, Daly, Masi Cons: Goode 2 Pens: Goode 8
London Irish (16) 16
Try: Cross Con: Geraghty Pens: Homer 3

Andy Goode set a new Premiership points record on his home patch as Wasps overpowered London Irish to make a dream start to life at the Ricoh Arena.

The Coventry-born fly-half scored 33 points, bagging a try and kicking eight penalties and two conversions in a terrific performance.

Joe Simpson, Elliot Daly and Andrea Masi also scored second-half tries.

But Goode was man of the match - in front of a record Premiership crowd of 28,254 at a recognised home ground.

Apart from matches held at Wembley and Twickenham, no game in the two decades of Premiership rugby has been watched by more people - and, whether old or new Wasps fans, there was plenty to warm the soul on a cold winter's day in Coventry.

It was actually Wasps' third game at the ground, having played a Heineken Cup semi-final at the Ricoh in April 2007 and a group game in the same competition against Munster seven months later.

Wasps and London Irish emerge onto the pitch ahead of Wasps' first match at the Ricoh Arena
Wasps moved to the Ricoh Arena from Adams Park in High Wycombe, 82 miles south of Coventry

Goode, the former England stand-off, had the honour of claiming Wasps' first points at the Ricoh as landlords when he booted the hosts ahead after just six minutes from 45 metres, and he added five more penalties before the break.

His dominance was interrupted only briefly by Irish prop Geoff Cross becoming the first player to score a try, when he cashed in on sloppy defence to burst over from 15 metres out.

Shane Geraghty converted that, while Tom Homer added three penalties to keep the visitors' arrears to 18-16 at the break - but it was pretty much one-way traffic in the second half.

Goode the record breaker
Andy Goode's 33-point haul against London Irish set a new Premiership record for the most points scored by an individual in a match, surpassing the 32 points scored by London Irish winger Niall Woods in a match against Harlequins in April 1998

Four minutes into the second half Wasps scrum-half Simpson, on a right-wing overlap, ran in his side's opening try from the 22, with Goode failing for once with the conversion.

But he quickly found his range again with his seventh penalty before adding his eighth as further punishment following the incident which saw Irish hooker David Paice sent to the sin bin.

Goode then helped cash in on their extra man advantage when he went in under the posts, converting his own try for a 36-16 lead.

Daly ran in on the left for try number three but it was not until the final minute that Wasps claimed their bonus point when Italy international Masi went over in the left corner.

Fans of Wasps outside the Ricoh Arena ahead of kick-off
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says their move to the Ricoh Arena gives them the ideal chance to secure a regular place in the European Champions Cup

Wasps stand-off Andy Goode told BBC Sport:

"It sounds a bit cheesy, but that really is the stuff dreams are made of.

"Obviously as a Sky Blues fan I've been up here to watch Coventry City play a few times, so it was great for me to run out and play here.

"And to then come off and find out that it was an individual Premiership points record is Christmas come early for me.

"I said to the lads before the game 'let's not get carried away by the emotion of it'. And, although the first half was pretty turgid, we've got the job done in the end."

Wasps captain James Haskell told BBC Sport:

"It was a great way to start here. We've finished one chapter and started a new one.

"It took us 55 minutes to really get going, but we were disciplined and controlled. We just hope we've done enough to make people want to come back here and watch us again."

London Irish coach Brian Smith:

"We knew what to expect and we made a decent fist of it, but we're disappointed with the blow-out at the back end.

"I don't want to take anything away from Wasps, as this was their day, but we have a frustrated group of players in the dressing room.

"When a young ref gets a crack in front of a big crowd, you are concerned. The penalty count was 10-2 at half-time and you have to hope it levels out, but it didn't. But you just have to wear it and move on.

"You have to applaud Wasps for their enterprise in making this move up here to Coventry and good luck to them."

SUNDAY'S LINE-UPS

Wasps: Masi; Wade, Daly, Bell, Tagicakibau; Goode, Simpson; Mullan, Shervington, Cooper-Woolley; Davies, Gaskell; Johnson, Haskell (capt), Hughes.

Replacements: Lindsay, McIntyre, Cittadini, Myall, Jones, Davies, Lozowski, Miller.

London Irish: Homer; Ojo, Griffin, Sheridan, Fenby; Geraghty, Steele; Court, Paice, Cross, Skivington (capt), Cox, Sinclair, Cowan, Narraway.

Replacements: Allen, Halavatau, Aulika, Leo, Gilsenan, Allinson, Noakes, Lewington.

Sin Bin: Paice (61).

Attendance: 28,254

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).

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