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Match Report

04 Jan 2003: Wasps v Gloucester

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Match Report
Gloucester's Badge Gloucester Rugby 24
Wasps's Badge Wasps 17
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Kingsholm
Match Date: Sat 04 Jan 2003, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Tony Spreadbury

London Wasps beaten narrowly by Cherry and Whites

London Wasps failed to complete the double this season over Nigel Melville’s ‘Cherry and Whites’ as the side was beaten 24-17 at a packed Kingsholm on Saturday.

Director of Rugby, Warren Gatland, fielded a strong side that included Rob Howley and Alex King who were originally on the bench, as well as Joe Worsley, Craig Dowd and Josh Lewsey.

Gloucester, whose last home league defeat was against the Leicester Tigers in September 2001, was always going to be a difficult match and Wasps were unlucky not to come away with the four points, especially after Gloucester trailed Wasps on three occasions during the match.

The game started with French flyhalf Ludovic Mercier and King exchanging penalties during a scrappy opening first half.


King put Wasps in front with his second penalty after Mercier had missed his long-range attempt at goal. In fact, it was a day that the Frenchmen would rather forget as he missed four successive shots at goal following his earlier three points. After King’s penalty, Lewsey departed with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Scotsman Kenny Logan.

Wasps looked at going into the break in the lead but Lock Mark Cornwell scored from a set scrum to give Melville’s side an 8-6 lead.

The Men in Black came out firing at the beginning of the second half and were rewarded early on as centre Fraser Waters charged down Gloucester wing, Marcel Garvey’s, attempted clearance to leave Wasps in an 8-11 lead.

Gloucester grabbed the lead back again when Cornwell scored his second try of the game but Wasps fought on with another King penalty to lead by one.

Gloucester’s trump card came from Henry Paul who had earlier taken over the kicking duties from Mercier. Paul landed two penalties in the last quarter to take the home side into a 19-14 lead.

London Wasps’ never-say-die attitude was again evident and Lawrence’s side threw everything at Gloucester to force a win.

Unfortunately it was not to be as the gamble failed when Paul dived over in injury time to seal Gloucester’s win.

Wasps managed to secure a bonus point as King landed his fourth penalty deep into stoppage time but the win escaped Wasps again, who lost 24-17.