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The visitors made a great start, with Charlie Ingall going over within the first five minutes following a kick through from Ryan Davis but from a Wasps point of view that was the only real highlight of the first half, with Bath dominating proceedings and going in 17 – 5 at half time.
However, wholesale changes to the front row at half time, with the introduction of Lewis Thiede, Frederico Rodriguez and Will Bigley, seemed to give Wasps the impetus required, as the balance of power shifted drastically in the second half with the travelling team scoring 22 unanswered points.
Wasps will be pleased with the contribution of a number of players including a man of the match display from Elliot Daly, a captain’s performance from Sam Jones as well as impressive showings from Ryan Davis, Joe Burton, Charlie Davies and Thiede.
Wasps started the game well, collecting the ball from the kick-off and putting together a number of phases, working their way up the field. Entering the Bath 22, Ryan Davis put through a grubber kick, which Charlie Ingall got on the end of, behind the Bath defensive line. Ingall then sidestepped the covering tackler to then race over for the first score of the game with 3 minutes gone. Ryan Davis hit the post with the conversion. Bath United 0 – 5 Wasps.
Bath immediately went on the counter-attack, retrieving their own restart and working through a number of phases in the Wasps half. Bath entered the Wasps 22, spinning the ball wide and breaking through the Wasps line, leaving them with a two on one, which Alex Brown finished, going over in the corner. The Bath conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the scores level at 5 apiece after 6 minutes.
Bath continued their momentum after the restart, collecting the ball and moving close to the Wasps line, after a number of infringements from Wasps and Davies was penalised with a hellow card for hands in the ruck after the referee lost patience. Bath kicked to the corner, and from the lineout drove over to score in the same corner as their first try. The conversion was again unsuccessful and Bath were leading for the first time in the game, 10-5, with 15 minutes played.
Bath refused to let up the pressure, again continuing to attack well from the restart. They held onto the ball well and occupied the Wasps 22 for the next 10 minutes.
Davies returned from the sin bin and helped to restore a degree of structure. Wasps moved out of their 22, but Bath remained in the ascendency, with Wasps only encouraging the pressure with a lot of penalties.
Bath camped themselves on the Wasps five metre line and Wasps held out, but drew a number of penalties while doing so. Bath continued to opt for the scrum and the referee eventually gave Bath a penalty try following a succession of infringements at scrum-time. The try was converted and Bath went in at half time in the lead, 17 points to 5.
Wasps started the second half in much better fashion and five minutes after the restart Wasps were awarded a scrum for a knock-on just inside the Bath half. Wasps performed well at the scrum, giving the backs a good platform to play from and Davis ran a swith move with Elliot Daly who beat the first tackler and went on to score a try from nothing, weaving his way through the Bath defence, beating two players, shrugging off a tackle, handing off a defender and sprinting past the last defender to race over to score. Davis converted to take Wasps up to 12 points, with Bath at 17.
David Shotton was then replaced by Tom Yellowlees.
Wasps continued on the attack, holding possession on the Bath 22-metre line. Wasps spread the ball wide only for Bath to slap the ball down. Chris Bishay collected the bouncing ball behind the Bath defensive line with Daly racing up on his shoulder to create a two on one on the last defender, Bishay drew the defender and released Daly, who raced over for his second. Davis converted to put Wasps back into the lead, 19 – 17, with 52 minutes gone.
Jamie Stephenson then came on to replace Charlie Davies.
Wasps returned to the Bath 22 immediately, putting them under more sustained pressure. Daly got his hands on the ball 10 metres out and put in a beautiful pass to put Charlie Ingall in for his second try in the right corner. Davis converted from out the touchline to push Wasps further into the lead, Bath United 17 – 26 Wasps A, 17 minutes to play.
James Cobden, Henry Purdy and Sam Reynolds came on to replace Elliot Daly, Ryan Davis and Joe Burton, with Will Robinson moving to 10 and Sam Jones moving to 8.
With six minutes left to play, Wasps were awarded a penalty ten metres inside the Bath half, which Will Robinson knocked over which extended Wasps’ lead to 12 points, 29 – 17.
Wasps remained on the attack for the next six minutes but were unable to add to the total, with the game finishing Bath United 17 – 29 Wasps A.
15. Will Robinson
14. Charlie Ingall
13. Elliot Daly
12. Alex Cheesman
11. Chris Bishay
10. Ryan Davis
9. Charlie Davies
1. Jeremy Castex
2. Nathan Morris
3. Bob Baker
4. Stuart McLaren
5. David Shotton
6. James Docherty
7. Sam Jones
8. Joe Burton
16. Frederico Rodriguez
17. Will Bigley
18. Lewis Thiede
19. Tom Yellowlees
20. Sam Reynolds
21. Jamie Stephenson
22. Henry Purdy
23. James Cobden