Wasps director of rugby Dai Young conceded his high-flying side were second-best as they crumbled to a 30-19 defeat at the Madejski Stadium.
- Related Content
Buoyed by an outstanding performance from number eight Chris Hala'ufia and 20 points from the boot of Tom Homer, the hosts turned around a 16-11 deficit to finish comfortably on top.
Young said: "We were never in control of that game; in the first half they dominated but we took our one opportunity to score to lead at the interval. After that we were looking to gain footholds in the Irish half but they prevented us from doing so."
Wasps were without number eight Billy Vunipola, injured in training with England, which allowed Hala'ufia to dominate the back-row area.
"We badly missed Billy today as we lacked penetration and were never going forward; we looked a very tired side and we were one-paced," he said.
"After two hard games we had to patch up the boys during the week and we lacked our usual sparkle and edge."
Christian Wade scored Wasps' only try before leaving the field midway through the second half with Young once again praising the wing's capabilities.
"Christian was carrying an ankle injury from early on and in the end we took him off as a precaution but he showed what he could do, scoring a great try on virtually one leg," Young said.
Irish director of rugby Brian Smith was a relieved man as his side took a big step towards Aviva Premiership survival.
"I'm delighted to get the win as we felt we needed to win all our home games," he said.
"Since we spoke we've beaten Saracens and Wasps at home and we have three more against the bottom sides to go. We hope to win them and scrounge whatever we can away.
"We are giantkillers at home but in the summer we'll have to work out what's holding us back on the road."
Smith paid tribute to Hala'ufia for his part in the victory.
"After last week's poor effort at Gloucester, the pack had a point to prove and the game was won up front. After his yellow card Chris Hala'ufia felt he owed the team and he came up with the game-breaking run for Marland Yarde's try which was the crucial turning point in the match," Smith said.