NICK Kennedy believes confidence is building at London Irish after they secured a third straight victory with a 66-7 annihilation of a depleted Wasps side in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

Exiles put the visitors to the sword at Madejski Stadium, running in 10 tries including a hat-trick for teenage wing Joe Cokanasiga.

The win followed back-to-back successes against Krasny Yar in the European Challenge Cup, and after a difficult first half of the season, head coach Kennedy believes momentum is starting to grown in the camp.

He told the Chronicle: "The confidence is starting to come slowly.

“It comes from playing well and the boys definitely did. Wasps were an understrength side, there’s no hiding behind that, but you can only beat what’s in front of you and I thought we played better and looked after the ball better than previous weeks.

“The line speed we brought in defence – especially in the second half – was impressive.

“The boys took their tries well, they exploited the space well, and it was enjoyable to watch.”

He continued: “I was pleased with our performance because we kept our foot on the gas – we kept playing from minute one to minute 80.

“I was very pleased with the work ethic, the result and what the boys put out on the pitch.”

Scottish international flanker Blair Cowan made his 100th Exiles appearance during the rout, and he shared his coach’s sentiments.

The 31-year-old commented: “We wanted to put in a complete performance and continue to build momentum ahead of going back into the Premiership.

“We’re realistic about the situation. We knew they had a lot of youngsters, who I actually thought stood up well against one of our stronger sides.

“I have to give them their dues – you’ve got to keep out an eye for some of them in the future.”

Cowan continued: “Our goal is to build confidence and momentum, and it was nice to follow up a good win in Krasny.

“We’ll keep building because we know the next block of Premiership victories are vital for us.

“We’re in a good place at the moment, but we’ve got to stay super-focused.”

Reflecting on his milestone, Cowan added: “It was special to win my 100th cap.

“I got a lot of really nice messages from supporters, my family back home did a nice little video to mark the occasion, and to get a victory like that really marks the occasion. I’m super stoked.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy added a tribute to Cowan, stating: “Blair’s an absolute London Irish warrior.

“I’d seen him from the Academy in previous years, but last year I had a proper look at him and he was topping the stats every single week, no matter who we were playing, whether it was top opposition or slightly weakened opposition.

“He puts it in every single week, he puts his body on the line for the team and his friends without fail.”