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London Wasps suffered a 9-12 home loss to rivals Bath, in front of a packed Causeway Stadium on Saturday night. Four penalties from Chris Malone did the damage, which now leaves Wasps trailing 11-points behind Leicester in the Premiership.
The game also marked the Zurich Premiership debut for Warren Fury. The young scrumhalf replaced Matt Dawson after the England international withdrew from the game because of a calf strain. Fury did well and looks set for a promising career in Black & Gold colours.
Warren Gatland’s side started well enough when flyhalf, James Brooks, slotted an early drop-goal for a three nil lead. Ten minutes later, Malone landed his first penalty of the game to level the scores at 3-all.
Over the past few seasons, games between the clubs have never been the most thrilling and this game was no different. Mistakes from both sides saw numerous chances go a begging which left the teams level at half-time. Jonny O’ Connor was yellow carded before the break as referee Dave Pearson judged ‘use of hands in a ruck’. While the Irish flanker was on the sidelines, Malone landed his second penalty which allowed the visitors to take the lead.
Frustrations grew for Wasps, which led to silly mistakes and knock-on’s. The second half saw the Bath pack increase the pressure in the scrum area, which seemed to swing the game’s momentum in their favour. Malone added penalties three and four to stretch the lead and at 3-12, it wasn’t looking good for Wasps.
However, two penalties from Mark Van Gisbergen during the final stages of the game brought Wasps within three points of Bath, but it was too little too late. The West Country side ran out winners and Wasps were handed their fourth Premiership defeat of the season.
After the game Gatland said: “We suffered in the second half with our scrums. It’s a problem and something we need to somehow fix. We lost the game by giving away needless penalties. However, at no stage in the game, did Bath look like scoring a try. We have our work cut out for us next week when we face Newcastle.
London Wasps scorers:
Pen: Van Gisbergen
Pen: Malone 4