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Match Report
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24 Apr 2010: Wasps v Bath Rugby

London Wasps v Bath 24/04/2010

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London Wasps v Bath 24/04/2010

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Match Report
Wasps's Badge Wasps 19
Bath's Badge Bath Rugby 35
Fixture Type: Guinness Premiership Venue: Twickenham
Match Date: Sat 24 Apr 2010, Kick Off: 17:30
Referee: Wayne Barnes Assistant Referee: Peter Huckle
TV Match Official: David Matthews Assistant Referee: Alan Biggs

Bath upset Wasps to win first St George's Day Game

A crowd of 60,208 were at Twickenham for today’s St George’s Day Game to witness Bath upset Wasps on the big day with a 19-35 win.

The visitors made the most of their chances to secure a deserved win and propel themselves into the top four with only one game remaining.

Wasps mounted the first threatening attack, when Danny Cipriani went down the blindside, from a scrum near halfway. His chip ahead bounced into the arms of the chasing Tom Varndell, who was stopped just inside the Bath 22. The ball was worked infield, through several phases, before Tim Payne was unable to hold on to a sharp pass. Wasps kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty just outside the 22. Danny Cipriani’s kick, from almost in front of the posts, opened the scores in the eighth minute.

A minute later, Bath transgressed again, a few metres further out. Wasps then showed some adventure, running the ball from inside their 22, but Varndell’s kick ahead went straight into touch.

Bath had their first chance of points, when Joe Worsley was penalised for entering the breakdown from the side, seven metres inside the Wasps half. Ollie Barkley made no mistake with the kick, to make it 6-3, after 14 minutes. Almost from the restart, Paul Sackey showed his class, with a sizzling 30-metre burst. Joe Simpson was on hand, to keep the move going, but possession was turned over, inside the Bath 22. Mark Van Gisbergen then counterattacked well down the left, but spilt the ball in contact, after beating two men.

Bath went ahead from the resultant scrum, when Butch James punched a hole in midfield, and slick passing created an overlap for Joe Maddock, who went over for a fine try near the corner. Barkley’s touchline conversion made it 10-6, and that lead became 13-6, a minute later, when Wasps were caught in possession, from a long kick downfield, and Barkley landed another penalty.

Bath went further ahead with another Maddock try, this time in the right-hand corner, after Man of the Match Barkley pierced the Wasps defence, and the ball went through several pairs of hands, to send the winger clear. Barkley’s conversion attempt was just wide.

Wasps responded with an attack down the left, when Cipriani combined with Varndell. Varndell chipped ahead, and was tripped by Nick Abendanon, who was shown a yellow card. Cipriani’s penalty hit the righthand post, and dropped the wrong side of the bar, into the grateful hands of a Bath defender, who made a mark and cleared to halfway.

A minute later, Luke Watson was penalised for offside, a few metres inside the Bath half, and Cipriani landed a fine kick, to narrow the gap to 18-9, with eight minutes of the half to play.

Wasps continued to show attacking intent, and one glorious long pass, from Cipriani, set up the chance for Sackey to race away down the left, but a last-ditch tackle just caught his ankle, as he seemed about to break clear.

Bath ended the half on the attack. First, a weaving run by Lee Mears took play into the Wasps 22. Then a kick down the left put Joe Simpson under pressure, but he managed to wriggle out of a tackle, near the line, to run the ball into touch, and end the half.

Wasps had enjoyed plenty of possession, and had strung together some good attacking moves, without being able to find their way through the defence. Bath, with less territory, had taken their chances clinically, and were good value for their lead.

One minute into the second half, Ben Broster was replaced by Phil Vickery, making his fiftieth appearance for Wasps. Joe Simpson immediately raced through a gap and sent a long kick downfield. A favourable bounce could have seen Varndell, who was chasing at top speed, in for a try, but fortune favoured Bath, as the ball went the way of Abendanon.

Wasps then put together their most sustained attack of the game, with referee Wayne Barnes playing advantage for an offence near halfway. They moved the ball left and right, taking play deep into the Bath 22, and the advantage was over, when a further Bath offence, coming in at the side, gave Cipriani the chance to land his fourth penalty, to make it 18-12, with eight minutes of the half played.

An injury to Tom Varndell then forced Wasps into another substitution, and his place was taken by David Lemi. Four minutes later, Bath were penalised for a high tackle, just inside the Bath 22. With everybody expecting a kick at goal, Cipriani hoisted a kick towards Paul Sackey’s wing. Sackey leapt up and knocked the ball back for Simon Shaw, but he was stopped in his tracks, and Wasps were penalised at the breakdown.

Wasps were now beginning to play some incisive rugby, and they came close to their first try, when another flowing move saw Sackey going for the corner. He was stopped just short, and his attempted offload to Van Gisbergen, dropped harmlessly into touch. A stray long throw, at a lineout on the Bath 22, then cost Wasps dear, as Luke Watson gathered, and sent a long kick into the Wasps 22. A lineout ensued, and Wasps attempted to run the ball from their 22, but Cipriani’s long pass was knocked up by Maddock, who gathered at the second attempt, to complete his hat-trick, between the posts. Barkley’s conversion put his side 25-12 up, and he added a further three points, a minute later, when Wasps failed to roll away, after another Mears charge had taken play deep into their territory.

Trailing 28-12, as the game entered the final quarter, Wasps had no option but to run everything, but Bath began to hit top gear, and another sustained attack set up a huge overlap on the right, and Barkley strolled over for the bonus point try, which he duly converted, to put his side out of sight, with one foot in the semi-finals.

Further Wasps substitutions brought Ben Jacobs, Dave Walder and Zak Taulafo on to the field, in place of Steve Kefu, Danny Cipriani and Tim Payne.

A moment of magic by David Lemi then split the Bath defence, and a consolation try seemed certain, but his pass to the supporting Joe Simpson was a shade too high, and the scrumhalf, with the line at his mercy, could not hold on to it.

Tom Lindsay replaced Rob Webber, with eleven minutes to go. Paul Sackey then did well to break out of his 22, and sent a long kick downfield, only to be taken out late by Barkley, but the Bath centre was spared a yellow card. Lemi was then forced to leave the field, and John Hart came on.

Tom Rees’s departure, with seven minutes left, brought Serge Betsen on, meaning Wasps had used their full bench. One glorious angled run by Jacobs almost set up a try. Then, a wonderful counterattack down the right, involving Sackey, Van Gisbergen and Zak Taulafo, took Wasps the length of the field.

By now, Bath had received a second yellow card, with Julian Salvi being sent to the sin bin. Wasps finally found their way over for a deserved try, when Simpson broke to the blindside and sent Jacobs in.Walder converted, to make the final score 35-19.

Wasps will be back at Adams Park next Saturday, for their Amlin Challenge Cup semi final, against Cardiff Blues (KO 6pm). The following Saturday, they travel to Kingston Park, to take on Newcastle Falcons, in the final scheduled game of their Guinness Premiership campaign.

London Wasps

15. Mark Van Gisbergen
14. Paul Sackey
13. Dom Waldouck
12. Steve Kefu
11. Tom Varndell
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Joe Simpson
1. Tim Payne
2. Rob Webber
3. Ben Broster
4. Simon Shaw
5. George Skivington
6. Joe Worsley
7. Tom Rees (C)
8. Dan Ward-Smith

16. Tom Lindsay
17. Phil Vickery
18. Zak Taulafo
19. John Hart
20. Serge Betsen
21. David Lemi
22. Dave Walder
23. Ben Jacobs

Bath

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Joe Maddock
13. Matt Carraro
12. Olly Barkley
11. Matt Banahan
10. Butch James
9. Michael Claassens (c)
1. David Barnes
2. Lee Mears
3. Duncan Bell
4. Stuart Hooper
5. Danny Grewcock
6. Andy Beattie
7. Julian Salvi
8. Luke Watson

16. Pieter Dixon
17. Nathan Catt
18. David Wilson
19. Scott Hobson
20. Ben Skirving
21. Scott Bemand
22. Shontayne Hape
23. Jack Cuthbert