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Wasps ended this game with seven tries under their belts, but it was a beautifully orchestrated 40 minutes of football from Wasps halfbacks Simon Amor and Alex King that ensured London Wasps had this game wrapped up by half time.
In what was easily Wasps best performance of the season, they looked crisp and sharp, and the finishing was clinical. Edd Thrower was the main beneficiary, scoring four times, with Mark Van Gisbergen, Fraser Waters and Danny Cipriani, on his Premiership debut, adding another three to take Wasps try tally to seven for a convincing victory.
It was Bath who came out of the traps however, and Wasps hardly touched the ball for the first ten minutes. When they did, however, it was decisive. Given a line out on Bath's five-metre line, the forwards were unable to stay on their feet and get the drive on. Instead Amor looked for King, and the fly half used Worsley on his shoulder to attract the contact before the back rower offloaded to Fraser Waters, who went over for the try.
Good work from Amor and Erinle gave Edd Thrower his first try just five minutes later. Amor gathered a fumbled up and under from Bath full back Nick Abendanon and exploited a gap to scuttle into the Bath half. He found Erinle, whose perfectly timed pass released Van Gisbergen up the right wing, Thrower finishing the move off in the corner.
With Amor at the heart of things, Wasps had two more good chances, both falling to winger Tom Voyce in the next five minutes. However, referee Rose first disallowed a Voyce try for a forward pass after Erinle and Thrower had combined to make space for the winger, and then Voyce was tackled off the ball chasing a grubber into the dead ball area to be denied again shortly after, though Rose did not acknowledge the infringement and awarded Bath a 22 drop out.
It was from the 22 that Wasps next score came. Bath centre Eliota Fuimaono attempted a quick drop out, but cannoned the ball directly into Tim Payne. Fraser Waters gathered up the loose ball and attacked, supplying quick ball for Alex King to put Thrower through the gap for the touchdown.
An exchange of penalties by Van Gisbergen and Malone completed the scoring for the first half, though Alex King had to be helped from the pitch at the half time whistle after receiving treatment following a clash of heads with Fuimaono.
Sadly, King did not re-appear for the second half, Dave Walder taking his place. Wasps were soon moving the scoreboard on though. The ever-alert Amor pounced on another opportunity to break 60 metres up field, and though the Bath defence hauled him down, Wasps recycled ball quickly and moved the ball wide for Thrower to stroll in unopposed on the right.
Van Gisbergen, who was not having a good day of placekicking, missed the conversion, his fourth missed kick of the afternoon, and the game restarted with a new referee, Ashley Rowden replacing David Rose who was forced to retire with a hamstring strain.
Bath came back into the game over the next half hour, and though they did not have as much cutting edge as Wasps, patient build up was rewarded with a try for flanker James Scaysbrook, bringing the score to 28-11 with just under an hour to go.
Wasps response was a sweeping attack up the length of the field, finishing in a score for Van Gisbergen. Danny Cipriani, on for Fraser Waters, started the move with a half break through the middle. Quick ball allowed Dave Walder to demonstrate a lovely show and go and release Erinle up the left wing. The pack were on hand to recycle and after Worsley had clubbed up a further few metres Walder moved the ball wide, allowing Van Gisbergen to outflank the defence and score.
It had been a great game for the crowd to watch, and the spectacle had a fitting climax, with three more tries in the last three minutes.
First Cipriani scored with a 75-metre sprint following his interception of Chris Malone's pass, but then Bath winger Stephenson caught Wasps napping, taking a quick free kick and darting over for a consolation score.
It was not yet over though, as Wasps won a penalty in the attacking 22 and Thrower cut through the retreating Bath defence to score with the last action of the game.
'The first ten minutes set us up really well,' said Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan after the game. 'We gave nothing away and that set us into a groove. At the first opportunity we scored, which is exactly the sort of discipline you want to get a win. When we got the opportunities we took them and the players executed very well in attack and defence.'
Paying tribute to his winger, McGeechan said, 'Edd Thrower has worked his way into the firsts following some good performances with the A team, and he has played very well. He has done all the basics well and played a very competent game. When you do that, you find yourself in positions where opportunities come to you.'
On Man of the Match Amor, McGeechan acknowledged, 'Simon Amor was outstanding, today showed what a good competitor he is. He's really settled in here now and was instrumental in the way we played today.'
Referee: David Rose (rep Ashley Rowden, 53)
Man of the Match: Simon Amor
For more action pictures of Wasps v Bath, plus loads more pictures of players and supporters, go to www.waspspics.co.uk
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