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Match Report

13 Aug 2009: Wasps v U.S. Dax

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Match Report
Wasps's Badge Wasps 21
Dax's Badge U.S. Dax 9
Fixture Type: Friendly Venue: Away
Match Date: Thu 13 Aug 2009, Kick Off: 20:00

Wasps start their pre-season fixtures with a win

An impressive second half display saw Tony Hanks’ new look Wasps side claw back a 6-0 deficit at half time to a convincing 21-9 win in Dax this evening.

A penalty try from a scrum pushover and scores from Dave Walder and Dan Leo, combined with a flawless conversion count, allowed the men in black and gold to enjoy their first pre-season friendly in the heartland of French rugby.

Naming a squad of initially 26, but with the late addition of Academy talent Ryan Long taking the count to 27, the full Wasps contingent enjoyed game time after what has proved to be a strong pre-season training period.

The first half had seen a slight lack of control from the visitors allowing Dax two penalties and a lead early on, however pulling the game together in the second half, despite being a man down for the first 8 minutes after a yellow card for returning Wasp Warren Fury, the game took shape for the Londoners and this was reflected by a climb up the scoreboard.

Turning down a total of eight kickable penalties and instead focusing on the scrum and lineout areas, the dedication to playing rugby paid off as Captain Serge Betsen led his side to victory.

In the first half Charlie Beech took over from Tom French at loose head and at half time Beech then made way for new signing Ben Broster - signaling Hanks' desire to allow all his men a chance to play. Further substitutions at half time saw a switch of Academy flyers as Mark Odejobi came off for England U18s Christian Wade and new signing Ben Jacobs made way for Mark Van Gisbergen.

4 minutes into the second half and an excellent penalty kick from fly half Walder saw a Wasps lineout on Dax’s 5m line. A subsequent succession of drives forced Dax to infringe and it was then the turn of the home side for a visit to the sin bin - losing a member of their back row for 10 minutes. With a man advantage, a Wasps scrum again saw Dax penalised and the referee awarded the visitors with a penalty try which Walder duly converted to take the score to 6-7.

On 48 minutes the home side regained the lead 9-7 with a penalty, but 2 minutes later Wasps secured a lineout in the Dax half and a succession of rucks and continued pressure saw a Walder break in midfield to cross the whitewash on the right - successfully converting his own score to give Wasps a 6-14 advantage.

Heading into the final quarter, Hanks rung the changes with rotation of the squad and new signing Eoghan Hickey had his chance to follow Walder’s impressive boot at fly half. A Dax scrum in their own 22 followed but loose ball allowed Wasps back row to win possession with Dan Leo bundling over from 5 metres.

Hickey converted to take Wasps score total to 21 point and a final score of 9-21.

Speaking after the game Hanks said of his side, “I think we are all really pleased after tonight’s game. It was really good to see so many players run out in the Wasps jersey for the first time and what was evident was a very strong togetherness in this group already. For a lot of these players this was the first time they had been out and played rugby since as far back as March and with that in mind I think we saw a very promising display. At half time you could tell the boys were feeling it but they pushed on and the game took shape. We were able to allow all 27 men game time, but also push players like Lockie Mitchell and Tom Lindsay to a full 70/ 80 minutes of rugby which is great for them. There was some concern in the first half coming in 6-0 down, but the boys held their discipline well and we actually turned down 8 kickable penalities to really concentrate on the scrum and line out areas and go out and play. Our defence was very strong and to not concede a try against a side playing their third game, I was really pleased.

"I have to credit the leadership of Serge Betsen, he was the right choice for captain, especially playing in France with a French referee and our young players including some of our Academy guys – Jack Wallace, Joe Burton and Christian Wade - did well and didn’t look out of place at all in a 1XV environment.

"It was a good collective effort and we will take the positives, go through our assessment, and now work on the areas we need to develop ahead of the next game.”

London Wasps

15. Lachlan Mitchell
14. Tom Varndell
13. Ben Jacobs
12. Steve Kefu
11. Mark Odejobi
10. Dave Walder
9. Warren Fury
1. Tom French
2. Tom Lindsay
3. Gabriel Bocca
4. Marty Veale
5. Richard Birkett
6. Hugo Ellis
7. Serge Betsen (C)
8. John Hart

16. Joe Burton
17. Charlie Beech
18. Ben Broster
19. Arthur Ellis
20. James Honeyben
21. Eoghan Hickey
22. Christian Wade
23. Mark Van Gisbergen
24. Will East
25. Peter Elder
26. Dan Leo
27. Ryan Long