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London Wasps team of youngsters bowed out the Middlesex Sevens at the group stages last Saturday, having come up against tough opposition in quarter finalists Gloucester and runners up Worcester in the group stages.
England World Cup contender Danny Cipriani featured large in the squad, scoring all of Wasps points in their opening game against Gloucester, as did scrum half James Honeyben, who looked hungry and skilful in equal part throughout both games. Honeyben was rewarded with an excellent try to open Wasps account against Worcester and a hand in Cipriani's second against Gloucester.
Though those two pool defeats condemned Wasps to an early bath, coach Shaun Edwards was pragmatic about the defeat:
'We went into the competition with a very inexperienced team, and because of our players' heavy involvement in the Rugby World Cup it was vital that we came away without injury to those who played on Saturday.
'Obviously it was disappointing not to have retained our title, but in the end this was not a tournament that we'd targeted - the main reason for that being, as I said, the pressures of the high number of our players' involved in the Rugby World Cup.'
A round up of Wasps two pool games is below, followed by full match reports on Wasps group games against Gloucester and Worcester.
GLOUCESTER RUGBY 19, LONDON WASPS 10
Gloucester Rugby: Tries - Norton (2), Adams. Conv - Mercier (2). London Wasps: Tries - Cipriani (2).
WORCESTER WARRIORS 24, LONDON WASPS 17
Worcester Warriors: Tries - Delport, R.Powell, Garvey, Benjamin. Conv - Drahm (2). London Wasps: Tries - Honeyben, Bishay, Cooper. Conv - Cipriani.
WORCESTER WARRIORS 24, GLOUCESTER RUGBY 7
Worcester Warriors: Tries - Pennell (2), Wood, Delport. Conv - Drahm (2). Gloucester Rugby: Try - Swatkins. Conv - Swatkins.
London Wasps slipped to defeat in their opening game of the Middlesex Sevens this morning against Gloucester.
Two tries in the first half, both scored by Danny Cipriani, put Wasps ahead at half time, but two quick tries at the start of the second half, to add to their first half converted try were enough for Gloucester to run out 10-19 winners.
Wasps began the game in defence after fumbling the Gloucester kick off, but good defence by Cipriani and Bishay, holding up Mark Foster in the line, kept Gloucester from scoring.
James Honeyben won back possession for Wasps, snaffling up the loose ball as it squirted out of Gloucester's scrum, and Wasps moved the ball quickly for Bishay to have a go round the outside, but he ran out of room to give Gloucester a line out.
When Jack Adams spilled the ball in the tackle, attacking from that line out, Cipriani took advantage of Gloucester's ragged defensive line to run though a gap and turn on the gas to open the scoring.
Gloucester hit back immediately from the kick off, after another Wasps fumble allowed Gloucester's speed man, Dan Norton to score under the posts and Ludovic Mercier to convert.A break from Cipriani after six minutes took Wasps into the 22. Good work again from Honeyben kept possession for Wasps and Cipriani found his way to the corner for Wasps second try, though both scores were unconverted to give Wasps a 10-7 lead.
Cipriani was close to scoring again just before half time, but could not make the line as the Gloucester tacklers hung off him. With the clock on zero, Mercier then threatened to break out with a lovely little chip and gather from inside his own goal area, but Wasps were alert to it, winning back possession for Cipriani to have a drop at goal. He scuffed the kick however, leaving the score 10-7 to Wasps at half time.
Norton shone for Gloucester from the restart. A solo effort from inside his own half, stepping Bishay and then besting Cipriani for pace, allowed him to score his second of the day direct from the kick off, and just a minute later his inside pass off the floor to the supporting Jack Adams allowed Adams to stretch the Gloucester lead to 9.
Hugo Ellis showed his strength in the tackle, setting up Wasps in attack as the game entered the last minute, but Foster was able to gather Rob Hoadley's grubber through and win a penalty for Gloucester, allowing Ludovic Mercier to kick to half way and Gloucester to run down the clock for the win.
London Wasps v Gloucester were:
2 Garth Chamberlain, 3 Hugo Ellis, 4 Danny Cipriani, 5 James Honeyben, 6 Rob Hoadley, 7 Chris Bishay (c), 11 Roman Pietrowski,
Subs used: 1 Dan Cooper, 9 Joe Simpson, 12 Tom Lindsay.
Defeat in their second pool game has ended Wasps hopes of defending their Sevens title at Twickenham this afternoon.
A 17-24 defeat at the hands of a strong Worcester squad featuring many of their first team regulars condemned Wasps to third place in Pool 1 with no chance of qualifying for the quarter finals later this afternoon.
Tries from James Honeyben, Chris Bishay and Dan Cooper kept Wasps in contention for much of the time, but Worcester scored their fourth try in the final minute of the game to claim victory.
Wasps began the game in attack, but Joe Simpson was overhauled short of the line to hand possession back to Worcester. Marcel Garvey was soon in full flight and heading for the line, but Cipriani showed his considerable pace to bring down the Warriors winger. Worcester recycled well however, allowing Delport to score in the opposite corner for a 5-0 lead.Wasps hit back with a great try for James Honeyben. Tom Lindsay gave Wasps the attacking momentum by attacking up the middle and passing out of the tackle to give Chris Bishay space on the wing. With the cover defence bearing down on him, Bishay put in a well weighted cross kick which Honeyben gathered bravely under pressure to score. Cipriani's conversion put Wasps 7-5 ahead.
Wasps won back possession from the restart, and this time it was Cipriani's turn to take on Garvey, but the Warriors man was able to tackle his man into touch. From the line out Ryan Powell spied a gap to sprint 70 metres and score under the posts, Drahms' conversion giving Worcester a 12-7 lead at half time.
Worcester started the second half patiently, looking for the gap, which came with an inside pass to Garvey who, after Cipriani had given up the chase, walked over the line to touch down.
Trailing 7-19 Wasps youngsters did not lose heart. Hugo Ellis found some space but was hauled down metres short of the line, and James Honeyben only just failed to gather Ellis's reverse pass out of contact that would have given his a score. However, Wasps won a penalty from the resultant scrum, which Bishay took quickly to jink and wriggle through the traffic to score.
Good work from Roman Pietrowski and Tom Lindsay on the left flank created furnished the supporting Dan Cooper with a try in the 12th minute, and Wasps were back in contention at 12-19, though with Cipriani substituted off, Bishay was unable to convert either this try or his own.
Wasps looked to have the attacking platform to take the lead with a line out in the last minute, but could not take the ball cleanly. Instead, Pat Sanderson ran through on to the loose ball and a long pass allowed Miles Benjamin to score in the corner.
With seconds to go Wasps did not have enough time to be patient, and with the clock on zero a knock on from the restart put paid to their hopes, allowing the referee to blow for full time.
Wasps v Worcester were:1 Dan Cooper
3 Hugo Ellis
4 Dan Cipriani
5 James Honeyben
7 Chris Bishay
9 Joe Simpson
12 Tom Lindsay
2 Garth Chamberlain
6 Rob Hoadley
11 Roman Pietrowski
London Wasps Middlesex Sevens squad were:
1. Dan Cooper, 2. Garth Chamberlain, 3. Hugo Ellis, 4. Danny Cipriani , 5. James Honeyben , 6. Rob Hoadley , 7. Chris Bishay (Captain) , 9. Joe Simpson , 11. Roman Pietrowski, 12. Tom Lindsay
Coach: Shaun Edwards