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Wasps went ahead after three minutes, with a simple penalty by Andy Goode, following excellent work by Nathan Hughes, who gathered the fly-half’s high kick to power his way into the Worcester 22, following a lineout on halfway.
It took just two minutes for the visitors to draw level, with an even simpler penalty from Ignacio Mieres, after a blindside run by David Lemi, following a lineout just outside the Wasps 22. Four minutes later, Mieres put his side ahead with the easiest of penalties, after Worcester counterattacked well from their 22, when Wasps lost possession in a promising position.
Within three minutes, the Wasps pack produced a powerful scrum which yielded a penalty 35 metres out, just to the left of the posts. Goode’s kick was on target, to level things at 6-6.
The series of penalties continued, when Ashley Johnson was trapped at the bottom of a ruck just outside the Wasps 22, and Mieres landed another easy penalty to put Worcester back in front, with 17 minutes gone.
Elliot Daly then displayed excellent judgment, as he let a mammoth clearance by Mieres sail past him to go dead, giving Wasps an attacking scrum, 15 metres from the Worcester 22. Nathan Hughes controlled the ball well, and tried to start an attack on the right, but wayward passing, followed by a forward pass gave Worcester a scrum, which led to a penalty, and they were able to clear the danger, but not by as much as seemed likely, when Mieres produced another huge kick.
It seemed to be finding touch a few metres short of the line, but Elliot Daly managed to flick it infield, and Andy Goode was able to clear to halfway.
Wasps finally brought the crowd to life, when Ashley Johnson poached a stray Worcester lineout throw, to charge 20 metres downfield. Quick ball followed, and the ball was moved out wide to the left. Johnson appeared again, to take things into the 22, but Wasps were penalised at the breakdown.
Inside the last ten minutes of the half, Wasps scored the first try of the game, after winning a turnover, a few metres outside their 22. Good work by Joe Launchbury led to the ball popping out, Jake Cooper-Woolley snapped it up, and quick passing, including a flick by Andy Goode, sent Josh Bassett racing away down the left. He cut inside Chris Pennell, but was caught by the cover, just short of the line. The ball emerged quickly, and Matt Mullan was on hand to crash over for a try against his former club. Goode’s conversion went wide, making the score 11-9.
A minute later, Mieres missed a chance to regain the lead, with a 40 metre-penalty. With the final play of the half, Wasps produced another steamrollering scrum to win a penalty on the Worcester 10-metre line, ten metres in from the left touchline. Andy Goode’s long-range kick was narrowly off target, leaving Wasps two points ahead at the break, aftefr 40 minutes which had produced few moments of quality.
In the opening minute of the second half, Worcester created a thrilling attack down the left, with David Lemi gathering his own chip ahead and passing inside, only for his inside pass to go forwards. From the ensuing scrum, near the right touchline, Charlie Davies broke to the blind side and sent a well-judged chip over the defence. It bounced perfectly for Christian Wade, who streaked in from 30 minutes to go over in the corner for his second try of the season, which Goode was unable to convert.
Two minutes later, Ashley Johnson again pounced on a wayward throw to burst through a tackle and set off for the line, from 40 metres out. He was stopped just short, but the Wasps forwards arrived en masse. Carlo Festuccia made an unsuccessful dive for the line, but the ball came back quickly and Jake Cooper-Woolley crashed over for his first try for Wasps. Goode’s conversion attempt again drifted to the left of the posts, but Wasps now had a handy looking 21-9 lead.
Wasps had now stepped up several gears from their first half performance, and another barnstorming charge by Nathan Hughes brought them tantalisingly close to the bonus point, before they were penalised on the line. Hughes was then replaced by Guy Thompson and received a warm ovation as he left the field, after a highly impressive home debut.
Thompson made an immediate impact, featuring several times in a move which almost produced a try for Josh Bassett, who was unable to gather Andy Goode’s short chip, as it came down in goal. The referee checked with the TMO, to see whether he’d been taken out in the air, but the evidence showed that he had knocked on. Advantage was being played for an earlier offence, and Goode landed an easy kick from in front of the posts to stretch the lead to 24-9, with just over 20 minutes left to play.
Fifteen minutes from time, Worcester turned down a kickable penalty, opting to kick to the corner. A series of drives stretched the Wasps defence, but it held firm until the ball was moved out wide, and Josh Drauniniu went over for a well-worked try. Danny Gray, a replacement for the concussed Mieres, landed a superb conversion, to narrow the gap to 8 points.
Wasps responded strongly, and a penalty to the corner saw good lineout ball lead to a powerful surge for the line, which was brought down just short. Worcester’s replacement hooker, Chris Booker, was shown the yellow card. Wasps again went for the corner.
They won the lineout, made another drive for the line, and Guy Thompson went over the bonus point try, which Goode could not convert. Goode then made way for Joe Carlisle, and it was Carlisle who stretched the lead to 32-16, with a 73rd-minute penalty.
The closing minutes saw Worcester battling for a consolation score, and they came close until a fine piece of work by Joe Launchbury, near his own line, stole possession.
Inside the last two minutes, Wasps had a chance of a fifth try, when they took a penalty to the corner, but the throw was not straight. In the final attack of the match, Elliot Daly sent a chip to the corner, but it bounced out of the reach of Christian Wade.
Next Saturday, Wasps make their first ever visit to Allianz Park, to take on Saracens.
The following week, Europe takes centre stage, and Wasps will be in Italy, to play Viadana in the Amlin Challenge Cup. They return to Adams Park on Thursday, October the 17th, when Bayonne are the visitors.
Wasps team: Elliot Daly; Christian Wade, Ben Jacobs, Chris Bell (c.), Josh Bassett; Andy Goode, Charlie Davies; Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Kearnan Myall, Ashley Johnson, Sam Jones, Nathan Hughes
Replacements: Tom Lindsay, Simon McIntyre, Will Taylor, Tom Palmer, Guy Thompson, Jack Moates, Joe Carlisle, Charlie Hayter
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell 14 Josh Drauniniu 13 Ravai Fatiaki 12 Josh Matavesi 11 David Lemi
10 Ignacio Mieres 9 Paul Hodgson 1 George Porter 2 Ed Shervington 3 Euan Murray 4 Mike Williams
5 Chris Jones 6 Jonathan Thomas (c) 7 Jake Abbott 8 Semisi Taulava
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker 17 Paul Andrew 18 John Andress 19 Dean Schofield 20 Sam Betty
21 Jeremy Su'a 22 Danny Gray 23 Dean Hammond