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A hat-trick of tries from Tom Voyce gave London Wasps an impressive 39-9 bonus-point win over the Northampton Saints at the Causeway Stadium on Sunday. The win keeps Wasps in the hunt for an end of season play-off place, and gets the season back on track.
The game, played in front over 9500 people, saw the home side dominate proceedings with tries from Matt Dawson and a couple from Voyce within the first 30-minutes. Dawson, a former Northampton Saint, dived over from close range for his try on 20-minutes while Voyce’s first was on the end of a well worked backline move and the second being an intercept from Phil Greening.
Mark Van Gisbergen and Shane Drahm traded early penalties and it was the only time the visitors were in the game at 3-all. However, it didn’t take long before the tries started to come for Wasps. Scoring three tries and leading 22-6 going into the break was just what the doctor ordered for a side that has seen successive competitive losses to Biarritz, Bath and Newcastle.
The home fans were treated to some breathtaking running rugby from the likes of Van Gisbergen and new signing Paul Sackey, and also saw the forwards dominate the scrums. Lawrence Dallaglio led by example and together with his pack, he laid down the platform for the backs to score six impressive tries.
The second half saw Paul Grayson slot an easy penalty to make it 22-9, but sadly for a side that’s battling for relegation, it was to be the final time they would score any points in the match.
The only concerns for Wasps were Alex King and Jonny O’Connor being helped off the field with head and ankle injuries respectively. Josh Lewsey also came off with a slight groin strain but will undergo tests later this week. The good news was that both O’Connor and King are fine and O’ Connor only slightly twisted his ankle and was taken off as a precaution. The Irish flanker could come up against several of his Wasps teammates if selected for this forthcoming Six Nations weekend game against England. After being checked by the doctor, King returned to the bench.
Van Gisbergen scored two tries in the second half for the bonus point and Voyce added his third on 80-minutes to complete his hat-trick, securing him the Man of the Match title.
Gatland said, “I was really impressed with our players today, it was a good all round performance. The forwards answered some critics and dominated while our backline finished off the tries. I was impressed with the new signing Paul Sackey, however he won’t be available for the London Irish game next weekend. One of the agreements we had with Irish was that when we signed him, he was not allowed to play in this next fixture.
London Wasps scorers:
Tries: Dawson, Voyce 3, Van Gisbergen 2
Con: Van Gisbergen 3
Pen: Van Gisbergen
Pen: Drahm, Grayson 2
Referee: David Rose
Man of the Match: Tom Voyce