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Match Report

08 Apr 2011: Wasps v Harlequins

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Match Report
Quins's Badge Harlequins 32
Wasps's Badge Wasps 22
Fixture Type: Amlin Challenge Cup Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Match Date: Fri 08 Apr 2011, Kick Off: 19:45
Referee: Christophe Berdos Assistant Referee: Pascal Gauzere
Assistant Referee: Jean Luc Rebollal TV Match Official: Giulio De Santis

Wasps rue poor start as they go down battling at The Stoop

Wasps’ European campaign for the season is over after losing 32-22 at The Stoop. Wasps can however hold their heads high after a battling display in which they outscored the home side by three tries to two.

As well as getting off to a terrible start once the game kicked off, Wasps suffered yet another injury blow during the warmup, when Ben Jacobs pulled a hamstring. Seb Jewell came into the starting line-up with Mike Mayhew coming on to the bench.

Wasps made the worst possible start after failing to secure the kickoff. Quins controlled the ball through a series of phases, moving the ball right and left, before the forwards took the direct route into the 22 and Danny Care broke clear from a maul to go over for a try inside 90 seconds. Nic Evans converted, from in front of the posts.

Quins added a second try three minutes later after another steady buildup gave flanker Maurie Fa’asavalu the chance to crash over near the posts. Evans was on target with the conversion, to make it 14-0, after just six minutes.

The home side came close to a third try three minutes later after a move down the left involving Nick Easter and Ugo Monye but an inside pass went astray enabling Richard Haughton to break away from near his line. He crossed halfway, before kicking ahead, but the Quins defence got back to touch down for a 22.

Leon Holden gives his reaction after the game

Leon Holden gives his reaction after the game

With Andy Powell becoming increasingly influential, Wasps now began to play with more confidence and a superb weaving run by Joe Simpson set up a chance out on the right after he used his pace to race away from a scrum. Seb Jewell went for the line and the TMO eventually ruled that the try had been scored. Dave Walder landed a fine conversion to make the score 14-7 in the 13th minute.

With their confidence boosted, Wasps began to control possession and one superb run by David Lemi took play deep into the Quins half. After beating a series of defenders, he was caught just as he seemed set to go clear. Wasps kept the ball alive and a thrilling passage of play ended when Lemi was tackled into touch at the corner.

When Quins won a penalty, and set up a lineout inside the Wasps half, Ugo Monye came into the line but Serge Betsen conjured up a superb turnover to launch a counterattack with Seb Jewell making a fine run before being smothered by the defence.

Wasps were then forced into another substitution when David Lemi, who was clearly struggling, left the field to make way for Christian Wade. Wasps immediately won a penalty on the Quins ten-metre, but Dave Walder’s kick at goal went just wide.

Two minutes later, after a defence-splitting break by Riki Flutey, Walder narrowed the gap to four points with a neat drop goal as the referee played advantage for a Wasps penalty on the Quins 22.

Quins restored their seven-point advantage when Wasps failed to control their own lineout after winning possession on halfway. Fa’asavalu pounced on the loose ball, and charged into the 22. Quins recycled quickly and moved play out to the left and Nick Easter almost powered his way over before Wasps were penalised and Evans landed a penalty to make the score 17-10 with eleven minutes of the half to play.

Wasps were then forced to make another substitution, when Rob Webber went off with an elbow injury, to his obvious frustration. His place was taken by Tom Lindsay, after a lengthy discussion with the officials on the touchline, as play continued, with Wasps down to 14 men.

Five minutes before halftime, Evans added another penalty after Wasps were caught offside in midfield 38 metres out. An Evans chip ahead then almost snatched a third try, two minutes before the break, but Richard Haughton managed to beat Mike Brown to the ball as it bounced dangerously, in the in-goal area. From the dropout, Wasps conceded another penalty in midfield and Evans was again on target, to make the halftime score 23-10 to the home side after a 40 minutes of thrilling rugby in which Wasps had showed great character and commitment, and no little skill, after such a disastrous start.

Wasps had an early chance to narrow the gap, three minutes into the second half, but Dave Walder missed a long-range penalty. Four minutes later, Evans went for the posts, from a similar distance, and he made no mistake, to give Quins a commanding 26-10 lead.

Now trailing by three scores, Wasps had no option but to turn down a kickable penalty and go for the corner. After winning their lineout, they were initially forced back, before releasing the ball to the backs. Christian Wade almost went over but Wasps kept it alive and Tom Lindsay eventually went over from close range with the try again confirmed by the TMO. Walder’s conversion made it 26-17 with eleven minutes of the second half gone.

The unerring boot of Evans struck again on the hour, when he stroked over a long-range penalty from nearly 50 metres, wide out on the left.

With just over a quarter of an hour left, Zak Taulafo came on for Ben Broster, and Serge Betsen, who’d worked tirelessly all night, was then replaced by Sam Jones.

Eight minutes from time, Wasps set up a thrilling climax, when Richard Haughton went over in the right corner, after a superb burst by Riki Flutey down the left took play deep into Quins territory, and Joe Launchbury and Zak Taulafo both went close. Dave Walder could not land the difficult conversion, so it stood at 29-22.

Just over four minutes from time, Quins patiently set up the position for Evans to make the game safe with a perfectly hit drop goal from 30 metres. Wasps continued to battle away, and a dazzling run by Christian Wade, after he was sent clear by Riki Flutey, almost brought a fourth try, but Quins controlled possession in the final minute, and Care’s kick to touch sealed their victory, after a magnicent game of rugby.

Wasps are back in Premiership action next weekend, when they take on Leeds Carnegie at Adams Park, on Sunday April the 17th.


15 Mark van Gisbergen
14 Richard Haughton
13 Seb Jewell
12 Riki Flutey
11 David Lemi
10 Dave Walder
9 Joe Simpson
1 Tim Payne
2 Rob Webber
3 Ben Broster
4 Simon Shaw (c)
5 Joe Launchbury
6 Serge Betsen
7 Dan Ward-Smith
8 Andy Powell

16 Tom Lindsay
17 Charlie Beech
18 Zak Taulafo
19 James Cannon
20 Sam Jones
21 Charlie Davies
22 Christian Wade
23 Mike Mayhew


15 Mike Brown
14 Gonzalo Camacho
13 George Lowe
12 Jordan Turner-Hall
11 Ugo Monye
10 Nick Evans
9 Danny Care
1 Ceri Jones
2 Joe Gray
3 John Andress
4 Ollie Kohn
5 George Robson
6 Maurie Fa'asavalu
7 Will Skinner
8 Nick Easter (c)

16 Chris Brooker
17 Mark Lambert
18 James Johnston
19 Pete Browne
20 Tomas Vallejos
21 Dave Moore
22 Rory Clegg
23 Tom Williams