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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Tomas O'Leary sent off for stamping a Wasp as London Irish cling on

The former Munster scrum-half was sent to an early bath for ‘use of the boot’ on James Haskell.

Tomas O'Leary was given a straight red for his indiscriminate stamp.
Tomas O'Leary was given a straight red for his indiscriminate stamp.
Image: Tony Marshall

14-MAN LONDON IRISH held on at Adams Park to defeat capital city rivals Wasps 23-20. The Exiles clinched victory thanks to a Shane Geraghty drop goal, scored in the closing stages and some 20 minutes after their scrum-half Tomás O’Leary was sent off.

O’Leary, the former Munster No.9, saw red after 52 minutes for a stamp on Wasps forward James Haskell at an Exiles ruck. Referee Tim Wigglesworth showed no hesitation in flashing the card for ‘use of boot’.

Irish hit the front after three minutes when ex-Ulster out-half Ian Humphreys dived over for a try that was converted by James O’Connor. The Australian added a penalty and the visitors answered back to a Joe Carlisle penalty with another try, with hooker David Paice crashing over to make it 17-3.

James Short evaded the Exiles defence to make it 17-8 at the break. Carlisle reduced the arrears on 44 minutes before O’Leary saw red and was, accordingly, sent to the stands. Out-half Carlisle added three more penalties and the only Exiles response came in the form of an O’Connor penalty on 62 minutes.

Wasps had the momentum when Carlisle made in 20-20 with 12 minutes to play but Brian Smith’s forwards found it within themselves for on last rally. They worked patiently through the phases and made enough ground for Geraghty to pop over the game-winner.

The win was a second on the bounce for the Exiles and has all but guaranteed their top flight safety.

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Patrick McCarry

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