Wasps claim Ricoh Arena Christmas bonus point win

In front of their biggest home crowd of the season, Wasps continued their climb up the Premiership table with a thrilling victory over Gloucester who began the day in second place.

49 - 24
Wasps Gloucester Rugby

Sat 23rd December 2017
3:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened
The hosts trailed 17-15 at the break, before four second-half tries took them to a convincing victory. This means they end the day in second place, three points ahead of Saracens, who play on Christmas Eve.
 
Wasps posed the first attacking threat, following a scrum just inside the visitors’ 22. They moved the ball right, but Christian Wade was bundled into touch near the corner, and the pacy winger again went close a few minutes later following a turnover won by Tom Cruse and Willie Le Roux’s chip ahead.
 
The hosts took the lead after 12 minutes, following a powerful burst by Jack Willis which took play deep into the 22, where the ball was quickly recycled. Le Roux then came into the line, and a beautiful angled run took him through the defence to the left corner.
 
Gloucester drew level five minutes later, after turning down a straightforward kick at goal. From the lineout in the right corner play came infield through a series of phases, before skipper Willi Heinz went on an angled run round the defence and went over near the posts for a score which Billy Twelvetrees converted.
 
Wasps came within a whisker of regaining the lead, when a flowing move ended with Wade crossing the line in the right corner, only to be prevented from touching down by Tom Marshall.
 
And Gloucester stretched their advantage when Thorley broke away down the left, following a scrum in midfield. He was stopped just short, but Mark  Atkinson gathered and went over near the corner.


 
Five minutes later, Kyle Eastmond’s superb tackle on Henry Trinder won Wasps a penalty, 35 metres out, and Danny Cipriani pulled back three points with a well-struck kick.
 
The home side then reclaimed the lead, with a wonderful try. It was created by midfield inter-play between Cipriani and Eastmond, after which Wade came inside, to go over for his sixth Premiership touchdown of the season, and 75th of his career. Cipriani’s conversion made the score 15-12.


 
But Gloucester ended a see-saw first half with a 17-15 advantage, thanks to a Tom Marshall try. Jake Polledri’s charge took Gloucester close, then when the ball came back to the right, the visiting full back had the footwork to pierce the defence and cross for a fine unconverted score.
 
Several minutes of Gloucester pressure launched the second period, but it was Wasps who took the lead with a superb counter-attack try from inside their 22. Cruse won a turnover, Le Roux stole away down the blindside and found Thomas Young on his inside, and the flanker showed an outstanding turn of pace to race to the line from 60 metres for a brilliant score.
 
Cipriani converted, and two minutes later the fly half added three further points with a well-struck penalty, after Juan De Jongh chased replacement Dan Robson’s kick ahead, to put the defence under pressure.
 
25-17 soon became 28-17, through a 58th minute Cipriani penalty, and Wasps then thought they had claimed a fourth try, only for Nizaam Carr’s score to be ruled out by the TMO for a knock-on.
 
The try bonus point was soon secured, however, when Josh Bassett intercepted as Gloucester tried to run from deep, but was unable to stay on his feet a few metres from the visitors’ line. However, Wasps kept possession patiwently, and several phases later replacement Guy Thompson powered his way over near the right corner. Cipriani’s conversion stretched the lead to 35-17.
 
With the game running away from, Gloucester were now looking at a bonus point, and a penalty was sent to the corner, only for Thomas Young to pull off an outstanding turnover.
 
But with Wasps now down to 14, after the injured Bassett left the field with all replacements used, the visitors scored their fourth try, when replacement Freddie Clark went over from close range.
 
Twelvetrees converted, but Gloucester’s hopes of securing a second bonus point were immediately dashed when Wasps replied immediately, as Dan Robson pounced on a stray pass and sped over.
 
Cipriani converted, and the home side promptly struck the final blow direct from the kickoff, when Wade raced over from his own half for his second try of the afternoon, converted by Cipriani to deliver a 49-24 final score.
 

Wasps Line ups

  1. Simon McIntyre
  2. Tom Cruse
  3. Martin Moore
  4. Joe Launchbury
  5. James Gaskell
  6. Jack Willis
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Nizaam Carr
  9. Joe Simpson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Josh Bassett
  12. Kyle Eastmond
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Ashley Johnson
  17. Ben Harris
  18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  19. Kearnan Myall
  20. Guy Thompson
  21. Dan Robson
  22. Rob Miller
  23. Gabiriele Lovobalavu

Gloucester Rugby Line ups

  1. Paddy McAllister
  2. James Hanson
  3. John Afoa
  4. Tom Savage
  5. Ed Slater
  6. Jake Polledri
  7. Lewis Ludlow
  8. Ruan Ackermann
  9. Willie Heinz
  10. Billy Burns
  11. Ollie Thorley
  12. Mark Atkinson
  13. Billy Twelvetrees
  14. Charlie Sharples
  15. Tom Marshall
  16. Richard Hibbard
  17. Cameron Orr
  18. Josh Hohneck
  19. Jeremy Thrush
  20. Freddie Clarke
  21. Ben Vellacott
  22. Owen Williams
  23. Henry Trinder