Man of Match Dave Walder crosses the white wash for Wasps
The Wasps forwards, strongly led by skipper Phil Vickery, put in another imposing performance and all the points came from MOTM Dave Walder, with four penalties and a converted try - in a 100% kicking return.
Wasps made one late change to their lineup, after Riki Flutey was withdrawn with a tight calf. Tom Voyce came in to the side, with Lachlan Mitchell replacing him on the bench.
Wasps mounted their first serious attack after five minutes, when Mark Van Gisbergen took a quick penalty inside his own half and set off on a mazy run which saw Tom Voyce make ground down the left. When he came infield, possession was turned over, and Edinburgh fullback Hugo Southwell had the chance to clear. His booming kick went dead at the other end giving Wasps an attacking scrum on the visitors’ 22 but it came to nothing.
The opening score came on eleven minutes, after Dominic Waldouck charged down Matt De Luca’s clearance in the 22. Wasps went through a series of controlled phases, featuring powerful bursts from Rob Webber, Richard Birkett, James Haskell and Serge Betsen, before the sustained pressure set up the chance for Eoin Reddan’s snappy pass to send Dave Walder dancing through a gap for a fine try - which he converted.
Five minutes later, Van Gisbergen’s entry into the line launched another incisive move which took play into the 22, but Reddan lost control of the slippery ball, as he tried to pass the ball out to the left, where Wasps had space and numbers.
Against the run of play it was the visitors who produced the next score after 25 minutes. Ben Cairns’s superb break, from just inside the Wasps half, took him outside Waldouck, to send Southwell over for a fine try near the right touchline. Phil Godman could not add the extra points.
Wasps threatened from the restart but Edinburgh immediately broke away and Simon Webster came close to scoring after a foot race to get to a long kick ahead. A couple of minutes of intense pressure followed, before Wasps secured a valuable turnover in the shadow of their posts.
After 33 minutes, Van Gisbergen was involved in a heavy collision with De Luca. After several minutes of treatment, the obviously shaken fullback left the field, to be replaced by Lachlan Mitchell. The Australian was immediately into the action, fielding a high ball near the touchline and cutting back inside. When the ball found Lewsey, he sliced through a gap and raced deep into the 22, before putting in a chip ahead which was just too far for the chasing Paul Sackey.
Edinburgh took a surprise lead in the final minute of the half, when Godman landed a straightforward penalty, after Wasps were caught offside inside their 22.
Wasps had been running the ball far more than in recent games, but they’d been unable to find the finishing touches to round off several promising positions. They made one change to their backline at halftime with Danny Cipriani replacing Waldouck.
Within two minutes of the restart, Wasps were back in front, when Walder landed a 40-metre penalty. A minute later, the fly half was almost through a gap, when he appeared to be stopped by a high tackle. The referee thought otherwise, and play continued, with Wasps eventually going close, after Voyce was brought down short of the line.
The home side then opted for a scrum, when awarded a penalty near the line, but a powerful shove from the visitors turned possession over and another good opportunity was lost.
Another Walder penalty on 50 minutes made it 13-8 to Wasps. Quick thinking by Reddan, after a quick throw-in inside the Wasps 22, then took play back into Edinburgh territory after the scrum half beat two men and broke down the touchline before sending a kick ahead deep into the 22. That position came to nothing, when the Wasps throw-in to the lineout was judged not straight.
Wasps made their second substitution when George Skivington came on for Richard Birkett, before a magnificent high take by Mitchell led to the first extended aerial ping-pong rally of the game, with 55 minutes gone.
After several scrappy minutes, Reddan’s sharp blindside break, from a scrum in midfield, took play back towards the Edinburgh 22. Joe Worsley replaced Betsen and Wasps immediately extended their lead, with Walder’s third successful penalty when Edinburgh were caught offside.
The best move of the match followed, with Wasps running the ball from their own 22, to take play up near the Edinburgh line. The visitors managed to keep them out, and a minute later they were back within five points thanks to a penalty from replacement David Blair.
Mitchell then began another counterattack, giving Haskell the chance to show his pace and power with a charging run down the middle of the field. Another lengthy passage of play, with the ball again being worked through series of phases, led to another penalty chance for Walder and he was on target with a fine kick from near the right touchline, to make it 19-11 with seven minutes of normal time left.
Another substitution saw Joe Simpson come on for Reddan, as Blair missed a late penalty which could have brought his side a bonus point.
The result means all is still to play for, and the Battle of the Capitals, facing Leinster at Twickenham on the 17th January could decide who wins the pool.
Taking a break from European action for now though, Wasps will be looking to continue their winning form into the league as they look to the challenge of Saracens at home next Saturday, KO 2.15pm. In a great Christmas fixture be sure to get behind the team as we turn Adams Park into our own Winter Wonderland and the team go in search of yet another victory.
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