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Match Report

29 Feb 2004: Wasps v Pertemps Bees

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Match Report
Bees's Badge Wasps 24
Wasps's Badge Wasps 28
Fixture Type: Powergen Cup Venue: Adams Park
Match Date: Sun 29 Feb 2004, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Paul Honiss

Cup shock for Wasps

London Wasps suffered a shock 24-28 defeat in the quarter finals of the Powergen Cup at the hands of Division One side, The Pertemps Bees. In what is one of the biggest upsets in Cup history, the Bees walked away with the scalp of the Premiership Champions.

The game, which was played in crisp clear conditions, saw six tries scored, four of them from Wasps. Warren Gatland put out a side mixed with experience and youth, which was led by Simon Shaw. The Birmingham-based side scored the first points of the game with a penalty in the 17th minute from flyhalf Mark Woodrow. Minutes later Michael Roberts dived across in the corner for the first try of the match. It started with a cross-field kick from Peter Richards that landed in the hands of Will Green who passed out wide for the winger to score. Harvey Biljon added the conversion and Wasps led 7-3.


On the half-hour mark, Woodrow added a second penalty but two minutes later had his clearance from the base of the scrum charged down by George Skivington. The ball bounced around in the in goal area, which gave Stuart Abbott the chance to score an easy try. Biljon missed the conversion but Wasps were on their way with a 12-6 lead.

Wasps went on to add another try in the 37th minute when Skivington picked up from the base of a ruck to score next to the posts. The conversion was added and Gatland’s side stretched their lead to 19-6. At this point in the game it looked as if Wasps were running away with it. However, on the stroke of half time, the Bees hit back with a wonderful try from Nick Baxter. A superb break from winger, Luke Nabaro, carved open the Wasps defence. He released Baxter who ran in their first try. Woodrow added the conversion and the sides went into the break at 19-11.

The Bees came out confident while Wasps seemed to struggle making silly mistakes with knock-ons and giving away possession. This allowed the Bees to score a second try through replacement Aaron Takarangi. Woodrow hoisted a long ball out wide that bounced in favour of the visitors and Bees added another five points to close the gap to 19-16.

The home fans must have felt a sigh of relief, when Ayoola Erinle scored the side’s fourth try. It was a replica of the one he scored against Harlequins the previous week. He took in four tackles and crossed over in the same spot. The conversion was missed but Wasps still had the lead at 24-16.

On 48 minutes, Simon Shaw was penalised for a high tackle. Unfortunately, in the tackle he took a blow to the nose that saw him having to leave the field with a bloodied nose. Martin Purdy replaced him. The resulting penalty was slotted by Woodrow and minutes later he added another to bring them within two points of Wasps at 24-22.

On the hour mark, Gatland made his replacements when he brought on Mark Denney and Mark Van Gisbergen for Erinle and John Rudd respectively.

As the away supporters grew louder the worry in the Wasps fans grew stronger. Somehow, the well-oiled machine that Wasps normally are was just not functioning on the day. Mark Denney came close to scoring when he intercepted a long ball from the Bees’ backs. The run took him within the five metres of the tryline but he was caught by Baxter and dragged down.


The Bees took the lead in the 76th minute with Woodrow’s fifth penalty of the game and the win was completed when he added another just before fulltime. The Bees ran out 28-24 winners and caused an embarrassing and shocking upset for Wasps.

Gatland said, “We just weren’t up for the game. It’s certainly not only a reality check for us but also for several of the players who are perhaps not as good as they thought they were. It was a dogfight”.