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Making it four wins out of four against the Cherry and Whites in one season, Tom Varndell’s first hattrick for the Club was added to by scores for Serge Betsen and Ben Jacobs. Seventeen points from the boot of man of the match Danny Cipriani rounded off another afternoon of superb attacking rugby.
Wasps made two late changes to their line up. Paul Sackey came in for David Lemi, with Warren Fury taking Sackey’s place on the bench.
After an opening passage of play, which lasted over three minutes and featured almost constant Gloucester pressure, Wasps conceded a penalty just outside their 22 and Nicky Robinson’s successful kick opened the scoring.
Wasps responded with a magnificent try, set up when fullback Ben Jacobs gathered a long kick inside his 22. Seconds later after some brilliant handling and telling contributions from Sackey, Joe Simpson and Dom Waldouck, quick ball was won in the Gloucester 22 and Jacobs went through a huge gap in the defence to go over for a glorious score, which was converted by Danny Cipriani.
Two minutes later Robinson landed a second penalty from in front of the posts, to bring the gap down a single point. Wasps had an immediate chance to stretch their lead, after good handling by the forwards saw Joe Worsley charging into the Gloucester 22. He had George Skivington in support, but the lock could not gather an awkward pass.
Another opportunity was squandered, when Cipriani showed a burst of pace to create an overlap, but his pass to Sackey flew into touch, 15 metres from the line.
Cipriani landed a long-range penalty, after 17 minutes to make it 10-6. The fly half then produced a piece of absolute brilliance, when he jinked through the Gloucester defence, to send Serge Betsen over for the second try which he then converted to stretch the lead to 17-6. Gloucester struck back with a try by number 8 Adam Eustace, who was on hand to gather a loose ball and dive over after good work by the backs had sent Jonny Maybreak through and stopped just short of the line. Robinson added the extra points, to bring the score to 17-13 with 25 minutes gone.
Steve Kefu’s break then sent Tom Varndell streaking away down the right. He was tackled just short of the line, but not held. He managed to get to his feet and cross for his 17th try of the season, awarded after a referral to the TMO. Cipriani landed a superb conversion from the touchline to stretch the lead to 24-13 after 35 minutes.
Robinson’s third penalty two minutes later, reduced the gap to eight points. That score was immediately cancelled out by another long-range three-pointer from Cipriani, to close the half with the home side holding a well-deserved 27-16 lead – a just reward for some superb flowing rugby.
Wasps opened the second half strongly and a sniping burst by Joe Simpson from a quick penalty gave Cipriani another kick at goal and he made no mistake to put his side 30-16 ahead.
A minute later, Ben Jacobs gathered a kick inside his 22 and his thundering reply found touch deep in the Gloucester 22 but Gloucester won the lineout and Robinson showed his class with a defence-splitting break, which was stopped 15 metres from the line. When the ball went loose, Sackey was on hand to gather and Wasps were able to clear downfield.
Wasps made their first substitution ten minutes into the half, when Tim Payne made way for Zak Taulafo.
After Freddie Burns threatened to score, following a neat chip over the Wasps defence, Robinson was on target with his fourth penalty after 56 minutes.
Gloucester should then have added a try, after a long kick into the 22 bounced awkwardly. It appeared to be heading for the hands of Jonny May, with Scott Lawson in support, but Dan Ward-Smith managed to get back and steal the ball.
Three more Wasps replacements then saw Tom Rees, Tom Lindsay and Simon Shaw come on for Serge Betsen, Rob Webber and John Hart with Ward-Smith moving back to number 8.
Gloucester were by now throwing the ball around at every opportunity and lock Dave Attwood caught the eye with some powerful bursts but Wasps made the game with another glorious try, started by a charge by Zak Taulafo inside his 22. Crisp passing and straight running by the backs with Jacobs coming into the line at pace, saw him send Varndell over for his second try of the afternoon. Cipriani was narrowly off target but the game was now over at 35-19.
Dave Walder and Warren Fury replaced Steve Kefu and Joe Simpson, who had received treatment a few minutes earlier. Gloucester pressed for a consolation score and Attwood was held up on the line. Bob Baker replaced Ben Broster for the resultant scrum as the game entered injury time. Gloucester moved the ball wide and replacement Charlie Sharples crossed in the corner. Robinson landed a fine kick from the touchline to make it 35-26, but Wasps had the final word with another lowing move ending with Varndell crossing for his hat-trick. Another successful conversion by Cipriani made the final score 42-26.