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Bath United edge narrow encounter

Wasps A came up just short in an entertaining game at Henley with Bath United winning 18-22 on the night.

Wasps took an early lead with a fine strike from Will Robinson as the home side dominated possession in the opening exchanges.

As Wasps looked to play a high tempo brand of rugby, their risky offloading conceded the first score to Bath as speedster Semesa Rokodugino raced through to intercept a pass and score in the corner.

But Wasps were patient and built the phases well to create an excellent try scoring chance which Chris Mayor took with both hands.

A lovely wide pass from Robinson found Paul Emerick and the American ran over a couple of defenders before offloading to Mayor who still had a bit of work to do out wide to finish well in the corner. Robinson’s conversion made it 10-5 17 minutes.

Penalised at the breakdown, Wasps handed a first penalty shot at goal to Sam Vesty but he was just wide, and Robinson, kicking very well, then pushed his side further ahead with another good strike.

Bath hit back with a fine try of their own just minutes later. Fly-half Ollie Devoto put in an inch perfect kick for centre Alex Brown to latch onto. Vesty couldn’t add the extras and it was 13-10 at the turnaround.

Bath had an early attempt at goal within the first few minutes of the second half but Vesty’s attempt went wide to the right.

Mayor then showed some real class, getting the ball in his own 22 after a great pickup from Jack Wallace, and then used some neat footwork to stand up the defender out wide and then a good deal of pace to race down the touchline. He was closed down by the covering defender, the ball was recycled and spread wide but poor hands gave Bath back possession.

Bath then moved up the pitch with a number of good phases, up into the Wasps 22. Good hands from a breakdown five metres out then put Bath’s Chris Cook over for a try out wide. Vesty’s attempt at the conversion was unsuccessful but Bath still led 13-15 with 50 minutes gone.

Wasps then made two changes, taking off Jonah Holmes and James Canon, who were replaced by Charlie Davies and Tommy Spinks.

Wasps then started to leak penalties at scrum time. Wasps were penalised in front of the posts about 30 metres out but, despite a change of kicker, this time Ollie Devoto making the attempt, the shot at goal was again wide of the mark.

Wasps were now under real pressure in the scrum conceding a number of penalites at every set-piece and Bath soon took full advantage.

Winning a penalty again at the scrum, this time Bath kicked to touch, moving deep within the Wasps 22. From the lineout Bath were awarded another scrum, from which Wasps were once again penalised with the referee giving Bath a penalty try. This time Devoto took the extras pushing Bath United out to a 9 point lead, Wasps 13-22 Bath, with 14 minutes to play.

Wasps then replaced Will Robinson and Will Bigley with Tom Howe and Anthony Kent.

Wasps then showed some initiative from a penalty in their 22, tapping and going quickly, spreading the ball wide and moving down to the Bath 22. Once again though, poor hands from forwards out wide after the ball was recycled resulted in the move breaking down.

Emerick then went on a rampage with ball in hand. After showing some glimpses of class throughout the game he now looked to attack at every opportunity, bashing his way through a number of tackles and causing the Bath defence some real problems. His attempts were in vain though and Wasps were not able to take advantage as errors proved costly in the final phases.

Wasps had a scrum on the halfway line with the clock nearing 80 minutes. Wasps earned themselves a penalty at the scrum and Charlie Davies tapped quickly and attacked well. Bath were penalised for not being 10 metres and Lee Thomas kicked into touch. The lineout was the last play of the game and Wasps set up a good attacking platform.

The ball was moved from right to left quickly and Jack Wallace bundled over in the left hand corner with the Wasps backs rewarded for their fine attacking endeavours.

Lee Thomas was unsuccessful with a difficult conversion on the touchline and the score was left at 18-22 to the visitors.

London Wasps A

1 Will Bigley
2 Nathan Morris
3 Phil Swainston
4 Alex Karonias (London Scottish)
5 James Cannon
6 James Kellard (London Scottish)
7 Matt Everard
8 George Messum (Loughborough University)
9 Jonah Holmes
10 Will Robinson
11 Jimmy Speirs (Old Albanians)
12 Lee Thomas
13 Chris Mayor (c)
14 Paul Emerick
15 Jack Wallace

16 Derek Asbun (Rosslyn Park)
17 Anthony Kent (Richmond)
18 Alex Penny (Henley)
19 Tommy Spinks (London Scottish)
20 Emeka Ilogu (Wasps Academy)
21 Charlie Davies
22 James Comben (Henley)
23 Tom Howe (Wasps EPDG)

Bath United

15 JJ Kilmartin
14 Richard Lane
13 Alex Brown
12 Sam Vesty
11 Semesa Rokoduguni
10 Ollie Devoto
9 Chris Cook
1 Charlie Beech
2 Will Tanner
3 Kane Palma-Newport
4 Will Spencer
5 Jake Oldaker
6 Josh Ovens
7 Guy Mercer
8 Will Skuse

16 Jake Fields
17 Tom Dunn
18 Max Maidment
19 Freddie Clarke
20 Joe Buckle
21 George Drury
22 Ed Hainsworth
23 Marcus Beere