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Match Report

25 Aug 2006: Wasps v Borders

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Match Report
Borders's Badge Wasps 49
Wasps's Badge Wasps 14
Fixture Type: Friendly Venue: Adams Park
Match Date: Fri 25 Aug 2006, Kick Off: 20:00

Wasps finish pre-season unbeaten

A close first half saw the Borders test Wasps defence, scoring two good tries to stay in touch with Wasps, but the home side pulled away in the second half, helped by a hat-trick for Tom Voyce and they played the more patient game of the two sides.

Simon Shaw led the team to a good win on the occasion of his Benefit Game

Man of the Match Tom Rees played his first full 80 minutes since last February, whilst Dave Walder recorded his first try in a Wasps shirt after coming on in the second half as a replacement for Alex King.

Borders had the better of the territory in the early exchanges but Wasps looked the stronger in the pack, and won some good quick ball for the backs to work with. Rees celebrated his return to 1XV rugby by opening the scoring, from close range, after 7 minutes and Mark Van Gisbergen slotted the straightforward conversion.

Fraser Waters' break up the right gave Wasps their next attacking platform, and an Alex King crossfield kick nearly led to a try for Peter Bracken. Instead, the next score came from more expected quarters, Tom Voyce succeeding with a well angled run to drive over despite the attentions of several Borders defenders.

Borders had responded well after Wasps first score, and underlined their determination to give Wasps a game when full back Calum MacRae showed excellent footwork to evade the clutches of Van Gisbergen and peg a score back for Borders. They built up well for their next score, moving the ball through the phases to make space for Simon Danielli to go over in the left corner, MacRae's conversion drawing the visitors level.

Bracken made up for his earlier missed opportunity by scoring Wasps third of the night from a driving play just after the half hour, Wasps having showed composure in the face of Borders' good spell, and patience in their own attack that led to Bracken's score.

Both sides had good opportunities to score before the break. Borders came after Tom Voyce's kick was charged down, only a brilliant recovery from Ayoola Erinle preventing the Scots from scoring. A wonderful break from Van Gisbergen, who was full of running all night, set up Wasps' opportunity. Good interplay from Ibanez and Palmer in support of the Wasps full back seemed to be building to a try , but Palmer couldn't find support to secure the score and the sides turned around with Wasps leading 21-14.

A second try for Tom Voyce came early in the second half, again from a clinical Wasps build up on the right, allowing King to release his back line quickly left for the winger to slide into the corner. Van Gisbergen's touchline conversion took Wasps out to 28-14

Borders retained good field position from the restart and Ben MacDougal threatened to score but could not get a clean touch down on Gregor Townsend's nifty chip through. Wasps play was becoming more error strewn, though Fraser Waters try saving tackle on Dougie Flockart brought the crowd to their feet, and they stayed there as Paul Sackey scored the try of the night on the hour.

Chasing back to collect a kick into his own goal area, the winger skipped through tackles on his own try line before taking off on a diagonal run across the field to half way. As the Reivers closed down on him, Sackey found Ayoola Erinle, who took the ball into the opposition 22 before Sackey finished what he began, popping up on Erinle's shoulder to collect the ball and touch down between the posts.Despite having remained in the attacking third for the majority of the second half, Reivers were not the next to score. Perhaps losing patience Gregor Towsend was looking for long passes and trying to play a wide game and it proved his undoing, Tom Voyce picking off the interception to score his hatrick in the 64th minute.

Ten minutes later, Dave Walder capitalised on quick ball created by Joe Worsley to open his account in a Wasps shirt, showing a beautiful dummy to race through the midfield, and converted his own try in the absence of the substituted Van Gisbergen to round off the scoring for the night.

Director or Rugby, Ian McGeechan was pleased with his side's performance overall. 'It was a bit scrappy and loose at times but we scored some good tries and there was a lot of positive rugby from the Wasps players. Some carelessness and turnovers crept into our game - but that's why you need the pre-season!

'Borders were very competitive and we had to be clinical about what we did. But overall I think it was an entertaining display for the crowd, who had come to support Simon Shaw tonight. He has been a great servant to the club since joining us in 1997, and an outstanding player - as you saw tonight.'

The man at the centre of the occasion, Shawsy thanked the crowd after the game before awarding Man of the Match champagne to Tom Rees and Calum MacRae.

'I'm very proud to have led the squad out tonight,' he said afterwards, 'and the boys did me proud. I'd like to thank everyone who came tonight for making their way through the Bank Holiday traffic to get here and I think it was a great evening.

'I'd also like to thank everyone who backed the event, Heritage Group, Coca Cola, Canterbury, Deutsche Bank, Gilbert, Bibendum and SRS Ltd for their help and support.'

Referee: David Rose

Man of the Match for London Wasps: Tom Rees
Man of the Match for Border Reivers: Calum MacRae

Additional Scorers:
Paul Sackey 1T
Dave Walder 1T, 1C