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Match Report

12 May 2002: Wasps v Bath

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Match Report
Bath's Badge Bath Rugby 22
Wasps's Badge Wasps 24
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Recreation Ground
Match Date: Sun 12 May 2002, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Steve Lander

Adams Park return marked with a win

Wasps made it two pre-season wins out of two with a comfortable 36-17 victory over Heineken Cup opponents Glasgow Warriors

Jack Wallace scores as Christian Wade looks on

Jack Wallace scores as Christian Wade looks on

The home side scored six excellent tries, including two from Joe Simpson and a spectacular try from Zak Taulafo, which finished off a glorious length-of-the-field counterattack.

Glasgow posed the first threat, inside the second minute, after a high kick ahead by flyhalf Duncan Weir was caught in the swirling breeze, taking it out of reach of Mark Van Gisbergen just inside his 22. Glasgow gathered the loose ball but a knock-on, a few metres short of the line, gave Wasps the put-in to a defensive scrum.

Handling errors inside the Wasps 22 meant Glasgow kept up the pressure. Graeme Morrison went close, before number 8 Richie Vernon was held up over the line. Dom Waldouck suffered a cut during the attack and Dave Walder came on as his replacement. Aggressive Wasps defence forced a handling error and Walder’s long clearance took Wasps into the visitors’ 22 for the first time in the match.

After 11 minutes, Wasps were caught offside in midfield and Weir landed a 40 metre penalty to give his side a deserved lead. Almost from the restart, a powerful Wasps scrum earned them a penalty inside the Glasgow 22. Rather than going for a simple kick at the posts, Wasps chose to take another scrum. Joe Simpson attempted a blindside break, but the ball was knocked from his hands and Glasgow’s counterattack took play up to the Wasps 22, where a knock-on spoiled a promising position after an overlap had been created on the left.

Christian Wade splits two defenders

Christian Wade splits two defenders

It wasn’t until the 19th minute that Wasps put together a sustained spell of possession, after a powerful run by Tom Rees, following a lineout just outside the home 22. That move ended in a knock-on, but an immediate penalty set up a lineout on the Glasgow 22. Richard Birkett leapt high to secure possession and returned the ball to Rob Webber, who showed excellent footwork to come inside and create space for Joe Simpson. The Wasps scrumhalf showed the defence a clean pair of heels to race over for a fine try, which Mark Van Gisbergen was unable to convert.

Glasgow were forced into a substitution, with flanker Stevie Swindall making way for Ryan Wilson. Excellent spoiling, at a Glasgow scrum near halfway, gave Wasps the chance to take play back into the visitors 22, where Waldouck returned to the field. Wasps immediately stretched their lead, when Simpson darted away from a scrum in front of the posts to dash over for his second try, a few metres in from the corner. Van Gisbergen was again off target with his conversion attempt.

Weir missed a chance to narrow the gap, after Wasps were penalised for crossing just outside their 22. A minute later, the visitors were level after winger DTH Van Der Merwe put a neat chip over the defence and gathered the friendly bounce to go over between the posts, making Weir’s conversion a formality.

Wasps immediately responded in style, with slick handling and passing creating the space for Tom Varndell to go over near the corner. Van Gisbergen was on target, to restore Wasps’ seven point lead. Christian Wade then came on in place of Richard Haughton and Wasps had a great chance to go further ahead, when Richard Birkett showed remarkable pace to dash through the Glasgow defence. He had to slow down to await support and his pass was just out the reach of his fellow lock Simon Shaw, who was galloping up in support.

Tom Lindsay on the attack

Tom Lindsay on the attack

Glasgow had a chance to pull back three points when Wasps were penalised for not rolling away, but Weir was just off target with a long range kick from near the right touchline and the halftime score stood at 17-10. After 40 entertaining minutes, both sides had shown plenty of attacking intent.

Wasps made a number of changes for the second half, with Dan Ward-Smith, Serge Betsen. Ben Broster, Zak Taulafo and Nic Berry replacing Joe Worsley, Rees, Phil Vickery, Tim Payne and Simpson.

Within three minutes of the restart, the new arrivals made their mark and Wasps secured their fourth try, after Van Gisbergen fielded a long clearance kick and launched a counterattack from inside his own half. After possession was recycled quickly, Berry made a sharp break and fed Broster, who sent Wade over between the posts. Van Gisbergen’s simple conversion took the score to 24-10.

Betsen then got in on the act, with a skilful piece of scavenging to turn over possession inside his own half. Quick passing sent Taulafo charging downfield, but he was unable to find support as he entered the Glasgow 22.

The next Wasps change brought James Cannon into the second row, in place of Man of the Match Richard Birkett, 14 minutes into the half. He was soon followed on to the field by Dave Walder, Tom Lindsay and Sam Jones, who replaced Mark Van Gisbergen, Rob Webber and Simon Shaw. Ben Jacobs moved to fullback, with Riki Flutey going out into the centre and Ward-Smith moving to lock.

Wasps immediately scored a breathtaking try, started by Jacobs, who gathered a long kick near his own line. Despite being under great pressure, he managed to evade chasers and made ground before sending Wade away. He combined with Betsen, who found Waldouck in support. The centre then sent a precise kick infield to Berry, who fed Taulafo and the prop went thundering over for as good a try as will be seen at Adams Park all season. Walder added the extra points, to stretch the lead to 31-10.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Jack Wallace came on for Riki Flutey, meaning Wasps had again given valuable game time to all of their 11 replacements. They kept up the pressure, but stout defence kept them out, and the visitors were rewarded with a late consolation try by Ryan Wilson, converted by Ruaridh Jackson.

There was still time for Wasps to add a sixth try, when lightning passing from quick possession a few metres out saw Wallace crashing over in the corner. Walder could not add the extra points. Wallace came close to his second score, and a highly entertaining encounter ended with a comfortable win for the men in black and gold.

London Wasps

15 Mark Van Gisbergen
14 Richard Haughton
13 Ben Jacobs
12 Dom Waldouck
11 Tom Varndell
10 Riki Flutey
9 Joe Simpson
1 Tim Payne
2 Rob Webber
3 Phil Vickery
4 Simon Shaw
5 Richard Birkett
6 Joe Worsley
7 Tom Rees (c)
8 John Hart

16 Tom Lindsay 17 Zak Taulafo 18 Ben Broster 19 Dan Ward-Smith 20 Serge Betsen 21 Nic Berry 22 Dave Walder 23 Jack Wallace 4 James Cannon 8 Sam Jones 15 Christian Wade

Glasgow Warriors

15 Bernardo Stortoni (c)
14 DTH Van Der Merwe
13 Max Evans
12 Graeme Morrison
11 Hefin O’Hare
10 Duncan Weir
9 Henry Pyrgos
1 Jon Welsh
2 Fergus Thomson
3 Moray Low
4 Tom Ryder
5 Richie Gray
6 Stevie Swindall
7 Calum Forrester
8 Richie Vernon

16 Pat MacArthur 17 Kevin Tkachuk 18 Aly Muldowney 19 Ryan Grant 20 Ruaridh Jackson 21 Colin Shaw 22 Peter Murchie 23 Peter Horne, Will Cliff, Robert Harley, Alex Dunbar, Ryan Wilson

Click on the speaker icon below to hear from Tony Hanks post match at Adams Park. Don't miss the big Adams Park opener on Saturday 18th September - Wasps v Leicester - KO 3pm. Book your place in the stands by calling 0844 255 2990 or go online here.

Tony Hanks post match at Adams Park

Tony Hanks post match at Adams Park