Five-try Wasps slip to semi-final defeat at the hands of Saracens

Wasps 2018/19 Aviva Premiership campaign fell at the penultimate hurdle as Dai Young’s team suffered a 57-33 semi-final defeat at Saracens.

57 - 33
Saracens Wasps

Sat 19th May 2018
12:30 pm

Allianz Park Stadium

Wasps scored five excellent tries and were also twice denied by the TMO. However, the home side’s flying start and powerful forward effort enabled them to deny a sparkling black-and-gold second half and in the process secure an appearance in next Saturday’s Twickenham final.
Saracens built an 18-point interval advantage through tries from Alex Lozowski and Vincent Koch plus 13 points from Owen Farrell’s boot, to which Willie Le Roux responded for the visitors.
After Chris Wyles extended this lead, the visitors claimed three superb scores through Jake Cooper-Woolley, Thomas Young and Le Roux. However, Farrell’s unerring boot ensured Sarries maintained a two-score gap until Juan Figallo and Maro Itoje’s final quarter tries settled affairs ahead of Christian Wade’s and Ben Spencer’s late long-distance specials.
Saracens went ahead inside two minutes when they worked turnover ball through a series of phases before Farrell went through a gap and sent Lozowski over from 20 metres.
Farrell added the first of his 27 points with a simple conversion and after being denied by the TMO, the hosts soon extended their advantage. Itoje smashed his way over the gain line and the supporting Koch dived over for a score which Farrell improved.

Wasps appeared to have produced the perfect response, when the ball was moved to Elliot Daly following a scrum in midfield. He chipped towards the corner and Jimmy Gopperth followed up to gather and slide over only for the TMO to rule his outside arm in touch.
After two quick Farrell penalties stretched the home lead to 20-0, the visitors opened their account with a glorious try by Le Roux, following excellent work by Wade and Juan de Jongh.
However, Farrell immediately added another penalty after which Wasps suffered a further blow when Jack Willis departed with a knee injury to be replaced by Guy Thompson.
After Gopperth was caught in possession near his own line, Saracens spilt the ball and Young raced out of defence only for his chip ahead to bounce into touch.
This left the hosts holding a 23-5 interval lead which they extended two minutes after the restart, when Wyles went over in the left corner and Farrell made light work of the touchline conversion. Elliot Daly then showed remarkable skill to stretch out an arm and touch down in the left corner only for the TMO to rule the ball in touch.
However, Wasps shrugged off the disappointment when Jake Cooper-Woolley crashed over from close range and Gopperth converted then Wade darted through the middle of the defence and fed Young who raced to the posts.

Gopperth’s conversion narrowed the gap to 11 points only for Farrell to add two quick penalties before Danny Cipriani’s pass sent Thompson charging through a gap. The replacement No.8 found Le Roux in support and the fullback’s diagonal run took him in to the right corner for a glorious try which Cipriani converted with a superb touchline kick.
This closed the gap to ten points, only for the home side to bounce back with their fourth try, created by Sean Maitland, finished by Figallo and once again converted by Farrell.
Itoje then put a seal on things ten minutes from time by rounding off a flowing move after which Farrell’s conversion brought up the half-century.
Wasps produced another scintillating try when Le Roux counterattacked from inside his own half before Thompson’s exquisite offload sent Wade galloping clear for his 97th try in black-and-gold, converted by Cipriani.
However, Saracens had thr last word through Spencer, following a neat offload by Schalk Brits and Farrell’s conversion which took him to a semi-final record individual tally.

Saracens Line ups

  1. Mako Vunipola
  2. Jamie George
  3. Vincent Koch
  4. Maro Itoje
  5. George Kruis
  6. Nick Isiekwe
  7. Jackson Wray
  8. Billy Vunipola
  9. Richard Wigglesworth
  10. Owen Farrell
  11. Chris Wyles
  12. Bradley Barritt
  13. Alex Lozowski
  14. Sean Maitland
  15. Alex Goode
  16. Schalk Brits
  17. Richard Barrington
  18. Juan Figallo
  19. Will Skelton
  20. Michael Rhodes
  21. Ben Spencer
  22. Marcelo Bosch
  23. Nathan Earle

Wasps Line ups

  1. Ben Harris
  2. Tom Cruse
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. Joe Launchbury
  5. Kearnan Myall
  6. Jack Willis
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Nathan Hughes
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Elliot Daly
  12. Jimmy Gopperth
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Antonio Harris
  17. Matt Mullan
  18. Martin Moore
  19. James Gaskell
  20. Guy Thompson
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Kyle Eastmond
  23. Josh Bassett