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The game began at a lively pace, with both sides running the ball at every opportunity.
A stray pass set up a chance for Northampton, after the bouncing ball was gathered by Noah Cato, just inside the Wasps half. He powered through an attempted tackle, before offloading to lock Christian Day. He made his way into the Wasps 22, where the movement came to an end.
From the resultant scrum, a powerful effort by the home pack produced a penalty, and Stephen Myler landed a simple kick, to open the scoring, with six minutes gone.
Just over a minute later, good work by Victor Gresev and Lee Robinson took play into the Saints 22, and a penalty ensued, a few metres in from the right touchline. Will Robinson went for the posts, but his kick went wide to the left.
Northampton then began to apply the pressure, with their quick recycling enabling them to set up some dangerous positions. In the 13th minute, they came close to the game’s opening try, when Soane Tonga’uhia fed fellow prop Brian Mujati, whose charge for the line was stopped just inches short. They came close again, when another well-worked move almost saw Christian Day going over in the left corner.
Wasps were then forced into an early change, when Charlie Davies, who’d been one of the defenders forcing Day into touch, went off, to be replaced by Joe Simpson.
After several minutes of constant pressure, during which they had turned down a kickable penalty, Saints finally forced their way over for a try. Martin Roberts almost wriggled through a gap, and the ball popped out for hooker Andy Long to crash over, near the posts. Myler added the conversion, to make it 10-0, after 18 minutes.
Davies then returned to the fray – something of a surprise, as he had looked very groggy when he left the field. Moments later, from an unpromising situation just outside his 22, Roberts produced a superb run down the middle. He fed Jamie Elliot, who passed to Christian Day, who went close. Play came back inside, and Wasps conceded a penalty near their line. It was taken quickly, and James Craig crashed over. Myler missed the conversion, leaving the score at 15-0, with 14 minutes of the first half left to play.
Seven minutes later, Charlie Davies again went down injured, and Joe Simpson returned to the field, this time as a permanent replacement.
Wasps finally began to apply some pressure, with Gresev doing some excellent work at the back of the scrum. They were rewarded with a penalty, a few metres outside the 22, and Will Robinson was on target, four minutes before halftime.
Northampton came straight back with a try, when Stephen Myler’s chip rebounded off a Wasps player a few metres from the line, and into the arms of Jamie Elliott, who had a clear run in for the score. Another Myler conversion stretched the lead to 22-3. In the last few seconds of the half, Northampton conceded a penalty, a metre inside their half.
Will Robinson went for goal, but his kick fell well short, and the whistle blew for halftime.
There were two Wasps changes, at the start of the second half.
Vladislav Korshunov and Sam Jones replaced Nathan Morris and Tinus du Plessis. With one try needed for the bonus point which would take them into the semi-finals, Northampton began the half in threatening manner, and it took a timely interception by Lee Robinson, a few metres from his line, to end a dangerous move down the left.
Five minutes after the break, Simon McIntyre replaced Ben Broster, who appeared to be nursing an injury to his left arm. By now, there was constant Northampton pressure, and another penalty to the corner produced a forward drive which came desperately close to that fourth try. From the scrum which followed, Wasps finally won some brief respite, when Northampton were penalised.
Wasps were then reduced to fourteen man when Simon McIntyre was shown a yellow card – a rather harsh decision, as the ball appeared to have squirted out of the Northampton side of the ruck before he dived on to it. It took less than a minute for the numerical superiority to take effect, as another forward drive was stopped just short of the line, and the referee awarded a penalty try to the home side, which Myler converted.
With 17 minutes of the half played, Wasps finally crossed the halfway line for the first time, when a Northampton pass went astray and Will Robinson hacked downfield. Paul Diggin did well to get back and gather, and Northampton were immediately back on the attack, when they counter-attacked down the left.
Charlie Ingall took the place of Chris Mayor, as the game entered the final quarter. He was immediately called into desperate defensive duties, as the dominant home side continued to hammer away, and the inevitable fifth try came when Noah Cato went over in the corner.
Myler’s magnificent touchline conversion took the score to 36-3, 16 minutes from time.
Further Wasps replacements say Bob Baker replace Tim Payne, while Hugo Southwell made way for Nick Robinson, who was making a welcome return, after a five-week injury layoff. Within two minutes of their arrival, Jamie Elliott went over for his second try of the game. Myler converted, and the score was now 43-3, with eleven minutes left.
By now, the widely forecast snow was falling, but Wasps finally gave their supporters something to cheer about, with a moment of individual brilliance by Joe Simpson. He broke away down the right, then chipped ahead. He gathered his own kick, and rounded the final defender, to go over for a superb try, which Robinson converted.
Four minutes from time, Alex Waller added another Northampton try, and Myler's conversion took them to the half-century. In the final minute, Cato went over for his second try of the game, and Myler's touchline conversion was the final act of the afternoon.
With the pool stages of the LV=Cup now completed, the Aviva Premiership returns to take centre stage next weekend. On Sunday, the 12th, Wasps are at home to reigning champions Saracens.
Wasps team: Hugo Southwell; Lee Robinson, Alex Cheesman, Chris Mayor, Richard Haughton; Will Robinson, Charlie Davies (capt.); Tim Payne, Nathan Morris, Ben Broster, Heinz Koll, Ed O’Donoghue, Tinus du Plessis, Matt Everard, Victor Gresev
Replacements: Vladislav Korshunov, Bob Baker, Simon McIntyre, Joe Burton, Sam Jones, Joe Simpson, Nick Robinson, Charlie Ingall
Northampton: Paul DIGGIN; Jamie ELLIOTT George PISI James DOWNEY Noah CATO; Stephen MYLER Martin ROBERTS; Soane TONGA’UIHA Andy LONG Brian MUJATI James CRAIG Christian DAY Calum CLARK (capt) Ben NUTLEY Roger WILSON
Replacements: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Tom Mercey, Mark Sorenson, Samu Manoa, Ryan Glynn, Tom May, Vasily Artemyev