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After trailing by 10 points deep into the second half, with Marco Wentzel in the sin bin, Wasps came close to snatching a draw but their late surge wasn't quite enough for the two points.
Gloucester showed their attacking intentions from the start, as they ran the ball back at Wasps from the kickoff. They broke through midfield, and scrumhalf Dan Robson continued the attack, which ended when Wasps played the ball into touch, on the 22.
Gloucester won the lineout, moved the ball out wide to the left and Freddie Burns went for the line. He appeared to go over – but, after lengthy consideration, the TMO ruled that the try had not been scored.
Gloucester were awarded a five-metre scrum, but Wasps did well to hold them and wayward passing in the backs gave Wasps the chance to gather the loose ball and Stephen Jones’s long pass sent Christian Wade away down the right. The winger chipped ahead but was unable to gather 15 metres inside the Gloucester half.
Wasps continued to press, and a sustained attack ended with a penalty deep inside the Gloucester 22.
Jones had a simple kick, to give his side the lead, after 8 minutes. Gloucester responded immediately, after Henry Trinder won the restart and went clear down the left. The defence stopped him just short but Wasps conceded a penalty and Burns levelled the scores.
Play continued at a hectic pace with both sides intent on moving the ball in perfect conditions for running rugby. With 19 minutes gone, Burns had a long-range penalty attempt, but his kick was short and wide. A minute later, he had another chance, 3 metres inside the Wasps half and 17 metres in from the right touchline. This time he made far better contact and sent the ball between the posts to give the home side a 6-3 lead.
Two minutes later, Gloucester scored the first try of the game after James Simpson-Daniel was given the bal in some space on the left ten metres inside the Wasps half. He made ground down the wing, before cutting inside and outstripping the defence for a fine solo effort. Burns added the conversion, to put the home side 13-3 ahead.
The home side were celebrating again just five minutes later after an overambitious Wasps offload was intercepted just inside the Gloucester half. The home side counterattacked down the right, and Sione Kalamafoni emerged from the Wasps side of the breakdown on the 22.
Burns added the conversion but Wasps responded immediately when Daly sidestepped through Trinder’s weak tackle and produced an impressive turn of speed to go over for an excellent solo try near the right corner.
Jones added the extra points with a fine kick from near the touchlin and it was 20-10, with under ten minutes of the half to play.
Gloucester had the territorial advantage for the rest of the hal until they conceded a penalty six metres inside the Wasps half. With the clock at zero, Wasps decided to go for the posts. Tommy Bell was given the kicking tee, and he produced an astonishing kick, which just had enough to drop over the bar making the halftime score 20-13.
After another enterprising Wasps counterattack broke down just outside their 22, a Burns penalty stretched the Gloucester lead, two minutes after the restart.
Almost immediately, Jones responded with a straightforward penalty from in front of the Gloucester posts but Gloucester restored the 10-point advantage, when Burns was again on target after Wasps were penalised at a scrum near the right touchline, just inside their 22.
The sequence of tit-for-tat penalties continued after Tom Palmer charged down a clearance kick by Billy Twelvetrees. The ball rebounded into the Gloucester 22, and Jonny May tried to break clear but was caught in possession in front of his posts. A penalty resulted and Jones had another simple three points.
Tom Lindsay took the place of Rhys Thomas, in the Wasps front row, but his first scrum produced another Gloucester penalty, 25 metres out and in front of the posts giving Burns another easy kick which gave his side a 29-19 lead, after 56 minutes.
Billy Vunipola was the next Wasps replacement coming on for Jonathan Poff.
Wasps should have pulled a try back when Wade found some space on the left. He chipped into the 22, and impson followed up to fly-hack towards the line. As he attempted to gather the ball, he was tackled by Twelvetrees, and was unable to gather. The referee consulted the TMO to see whether the tackle had been off the ball, but the decision went Gloucester’s way.
The next Wasps replacement brought Fabio Staibano into the front row in place of Zak Taulafo and Wasps were then reduced to 14 men when Wentzel was shown a yellow card, for an offence at the breakdown with 17 minutes still to play.
With the Wasps skipper sidelined, Gloucester turned down two kickable penalties opting to go for the corner but the depleted Wasps kept them out before a welcome penalty of their own gave them the chance to clear the danger.
The 14 men in Black and Gold then began to produce their most fluent rugby of the afternoon and one move ended with a penalty on the Gloucester 22. Simpson took a quick tap and raced through the home defence to reach the line, only to be called back for the kick to be retaken. This time, Wasps chose to go for the posts but Tommy Bell’s kick was just off target.
Tim Payne and Jones made way for Simon McIntyre and Nick Robinson, with under ten minutes left to play. Five minutes from time, following another sustained attack by Wasps, Gloucester were penalised inside their 22 just to the right of the posts. Robinson landed the kick to bring Wasps into bonus point range.
Wasps threw everything into a late assault, with one excellent Robinson run finding a gap in the defence. Simpson then went close, before the defence swallowed him up. The ball was moved out to the left, but a handling error ended the move. With the clock at zero, Gloucester were penalised at the scrum and Wasps made one final effort to salvage a draw but the defence held firm, and the whistle went to the obvious relief of the home crowd.
Wasps are away for another week, before they return to Adams Park for their next home game, on October the 7th, when Worcester Warriors are the visitors.
Wasps team: Tommy Bell; Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Andrea Masi, Tom Varndell; Stephen Jones, Joe Simpson: Tim Payne, T. Rhys Thomas, Zak Taulafo, Tom Palmer, Marco Wentzel (capt.), James Haskell, Jonathan Poff, Ashley Johnson
Replacements: Tom Lindsay, Simon McIntyre, Fabio Staibano, James Cannon, Billy Vunipola, Charlie Davies, Nick Robinson, Jack Wallace
Gloucester: Rob Cook; Jonny May, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Dan Robson; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Jim Hamilton (capt); Sione Kalamafoni, Andy Hazell, Ben Morgan
Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Shaun Knight, Will James, Akapusi Qera, Dave Lewis, Mike Tindall, Martyn Thomas