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It was easily one of their best performances of the season to put themselves four points clear of Bayonne.
Wasps made a lively start, with Guy Thompson gathering a long clearance just outside his 22 to launch a counterattack. After the ball was moved out wide to the right, it was spun back out to the left, with Elliot Daly finding Will Helu with a long pass. Joe Carlisle then sent a long kick out towards Josh Bassett. The winger was unable to gather the ball, but the referee had been playing advantage, and took play back for a Wasps penalty, 35 metres out. Carlisle’s kick went wide.
Wasps then won a scrum against the head and Sam Jones put in a powerful run. Quick possession was won, but the movement ended when Joe Launchbury was unable to hold a sharp pass.
Wasps then won a second scrum against the head, and set up another good attacking position, but a poor pass from Carlisle was knocked on.
The Wasps forwards were looking impressive, with a series of excellent scrums and turnovers. They were rewarded with another penalty, in the tenth minute, following a scrum just inside the home 22, 15 metres in from the right touchline. Carlisle’s kick again went wide.
It was all Wasps, and they finally went ahead in the 14th minute. Joe Launchbury fed Joe Simpson with a neat one-handed pass, 10 metres inside the Wasps half. Simpson seemed undecided, going first right then left, before bursting through a gap to make 25 metres. He threw a long pass out to Will Helu, who had a 35-metre run in for a try against his former club. This time, Carlisle was on target, and Wasps had a well-deserved 7-0 lead.
When Grenoble finally found some momentum, following a neat flick by right winger Daniel Matthieu Nicolas, from a hoisted kick, they went through a series of phases, but the defence was solid, and the home side eventually turned over possession.
Wasps stretched their lead after 22 minutes, following a lineout, just outside the home 22. Carlisle’s short pass sent Charlie Hayter through a gap in the defence. He made 20 metres, before passing inside to Guy Thompson who went over for a fine try between the posts, which Carlisle converted.
The home pack gave their crowd something to cheer, when they produced a mighty drive from a lineout, which took play the best part of 30 metres, into the Wasps 22, but again the defence stood firm and forced another important turnover.
The rest of the half was played largely between the 22s, with Wasps’ most threatening moment coming from a fine run by Chris Bell, who beat several players, before losing possession in a tackle. Grenoble had some chances, from Wasps indecision under the high ball, and some wayward passing and kicking. Halftime came with Wasps looking comfortable, thanks to aggressive defence and another powerful performance by the forwards.
Five minutes after halftime, Wasps added their third try, following an excellent build-up down the right, and a good halfbreak by Joe Carlisle. He fed Joe Launchbury, who was stopped just short of the line. When the ball emerged, Guy Thompson burst through some weak defence to go over between the posts. Carlisle’s conversion made it 21-0.
On 55 minutes, Wasps secured the bonus point when Charlie Hayter went over in the left corner, following an effective chip by Joe Carlisle. It bounced into the arms of Will Helu, who fed Jack Moates. The move came back out towards the left, and the ball went through a series of hands, before Joe Launchbury’s superb offload sent Hayter over. The conversion was missed, but Wasps were now 26 points to the good, as the game entered the final quarter.
It came as a surprise when the next score came from the home side, following a scrum under the Wasps posts. They were initially driven back, but steadied, before flanker Cedric Beal gathered and powered his way through two tacklers, to stretch out and touch down near the posts. Olly Barkley added the conversion.
The score had an immediate effect upon Grenoble, who suddenly found the energy which had been missing all evening. They came close to a second try, with Wasps down to 13 men, after both Kearnan Myall and Carlo Festuccia went down injured. Festuccia recovered, but Myall left the field, after several minutes of treatment, looking very groggy. Tom Lindsay was the only remaining replacement, and he took his place.
It seemed that Grenoble could be on the verge of a late comeback, but they paid the price for trying to run the ball from their own 22. A wild pass was snapped up by Charlie Hayter, who had a simple run-in for his second try, which was converted by Tommy Bell.
MOTM Joe Launchbury then showed his footballing skill with a huge left-footed punt downfield, from well inside his own half. Charlie Hayter put in an excellent chase and tackle, just short of the line, but the defence managed to scramble the ball away.
Five minutes from time, Wasps added a sixth try, following good work by Tom Lindsay. He found Hayter, who passed inside to Jack Moates and the scrum-half ran in from the 22, to finish with a flourish. Tommy Bell had a simple conversion to stretch the lead to 40-7.
There was still time for Wasps to add another try, when Josh Bassett raced clear down the right. Another Bell conversion made the final score 47-7.
The return game against Grenoble will be played at Adams Park on Sunday, December the 15th.
Wasps team: 15. Elliot Daly, 14. Josh Bassett, 13. Chris Bell (capt), 12. Charlie Hayter, 11. Will Helu, 10. Joe Carlisle, 9. Joe Simpson, 1. Matt Mullan, 2. Carlo Festuccia, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Tom Palmer, 6. James Haskell, 7. Guy Thompson, 8. Sam Jones,
Replacements: 16. Tom Lindsay, 17. Taione Vea, 18. Phil Swainston, 19. Kearnan Myall, 20. Ed Jackson, 21. Jack Moates, 22. Tommy Bell, 23. Ben Jacobs,
Grenoble: 15. Julien Caminati, 14. Daniel Kilioni, 13. Rida Jaouher, 12. Geoffroy Messina, 11. Matthieu Nicolas, 10. Fabien Gengenbacher (capt), 9. Nicolas Bézy, 1. Romain David, 2. Vincent Campo, 3. Dayna Edwards, 4. Thibault Rey, 5. Alten Hulme, 6. Cedric Beal, 7. Henri Vanderglas, 8. Fabien Alexandre,
Replacements: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Gregory Fabro, 18. Richard Choirat , 19. Florian Faure, 20. Olly Barkley, 21. Shane O'Leary, 22. James Hart, 23. Roland Bernard,