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Match Report

15 Oct 2000: Wasps v L'Aquila

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Match Report
Aquila's Badge L'Aquila Rugby 1936 10
Wasps's Badge Wasps 39
Fixture Type: Heineken Cup Venue: Stadio Communale Frattem
Match Date: Sun 15 Oct 2000, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Andrew Ireland

L'Aquila 10 Wasps 39

Heineken Cup

KO 2.15pm

Wasps were true to their word and enjoyed a comfortable outing in the mountains of Italy to get their Heineken Cup camapign back on track.

This wasn't the thirteen try mauling the Italians suffered against Stade last weekend, but for Wasps, last weekend's defeat at Swansea was quickly eradicated as five first half tries saw off the challenge of L'Aquila.

Even without injured captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Wasps superior pace and power were always too much for the Italian side coached by former All-Black Mike Brewer.

The Black and Gold made the perfect start, when Alex King gave them the lead with a third minute penalty and they never looked back.

Minutes later Joe Worsley broke through the Italian line and fed Trevor Leota to score which was converted by King.

Richard Burgess hit back for the home side with a well-struck penalty but it was a short-lived fightback as Wasps forwards capitalised on their extra strength, clearing the way for Paul Volley to score.

Midway through the half Rob Henderson capitalised on a mix-up in the L'Aquila defence and enjoyed a free run from 40 yards out.

With King's kicking off target in the swirling mountain wind, Wasps had to score their points with tries. Luckily Simon Shaw and Josh Lewsey both obliged before the interval.

The Italians came out with renewed vigour after the break backed by their small but passionate band of supporters. The heavy pitch, made worse by torrential rain before the match, made handling a lottery and Frank Napoli capitalised on a mistake to beat three tackles and score for the home side.

Wasps soon regained their composure and Henderson scored his second of the match when his power carried him through three tackles and over the line.

Scrum-half Martyn Wood took over the kicking duties and added the extra two points.

King limped off midway through the second half but it didn't harm the Wasps cause as they held on for a comfortable victory.

Wasps director of rugby Nigel Melville said: "I'm very happy with the win - and this was a difficult place to come."

With four regulars missing from the starting line-up, Melville had the chance to utilise his squad.

He said: "Some of the players like Phil Greening and Matthew Leek got the chance to enjoy a good run out today and some of our youngsters also got valuable experience.

"Hopefully we'll have more people back when we go to Stade Francais next weekend. That is a massive match. They don't come any bigger."