In an end to end, high scoring affair, London Wasps 'A' finished just one point short of their hosts, London Welsh 'A'.
London Welsh ‘A’ got onto the scoreboard after just 5 minutes after Gordon Ross put in a good kick, forcing Tommy Bell go to go back and clear with a tight angle, giving the hosts an attacking lineout on the Wasps 22.
Bell was given an opportunity to get Wasps on the scoreboard, which he took with a finely struck penalty to bring the score to 7-3 to the hosts.
From the restart London Welsh were on the front foot. Another attacking lineout in the Wasps 22 proved destructive, with the Welsh pack setting up a good catch and drive and eventually mauling the ball over the line for their second try of the evening bring the score to 12-3.
Wasps then went on the attack, controlling the play and moving into the Welsh 22. Camped in the shadow of the posts, Wasps dominated a number of scrums with the referee awarding a series of penalties. After an extensive period the referee finally awarded the penalty try. Will Robinson converted to drag the score back to 12-10.
That two point margin didn’t last long though, with London Welsh returning to the attack straight away. After a number of phases Welsh stretched the Wasps defence and some neat hands out wide put Gordon Ross in for his side’s third try of the night. He wasn’t as successful with the conversion however and score was left at 17-10 to the home side.
Good work from Tom Howe out wide, beating a couple of defenders, drew a high tackle and from the resulting penalty Will Robinson drilled his team into the opposing side’s 22. Again Wasps looked good but the ball was given up far too easily and London Welsh took full advantage.
Play moved into the Wasps 22 when the ball was spread wide quickly and Welsh got outside of the Wasps defence. A cover tackle from Bell halted Welsh’s progression but the ball was recycled quickly and Wasps were unable to scramble quickly enough, allowing Seb Jewell to glide through the defence and score the hosts’ fourth try of the night. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained 24-10 at halftime.
At halftime there were a number of changes with Jonah Holmes, James Cannon, Phil Swainston and Will Sharp all leaving the field for Charlie Davies, Tommy Spinks, Will Bigley and James Comben respectively.
Wasps returned to the game the brighter side. With renewed energy Wasps forced Welsh deep into their own half with some strong defending. Welsh were forced to kick clear and Wasps returned the ball with intent. A great hard line from Tinus DuPlessis broke the Welsh defensive line but a great covering tackle halted him a metre from the line. The ball was recycled and good hands from Will Robinson beat the Welsh scrambling defence. Robinson was unsuccessful with the conversion. London Welsh 24-15 London Wasps.
In a game of end-to-end play, Welsh then returned to the attack, moving into the Wasps 22. Wasps were penalised for being offside and Gordon Ross had no problem taking the easy three points.
Wasps were quick to move back up to a threatening position with yet more great energy in attack. Wasps earned a scrum out wide about 5 metres out. With Will Bigley coming on at halftime for Phil Swainston the pack had no problems adjusting to the change, with the referee forced to award another penalty try as the Wasps pack dominated at scrumtime and the score was back to London Welsh 27-22 London Wasps.
From the restart Welsh immediately had a chance to further their lead. Ross had a shot at goal for an infringement at the breakdown close to 40 metres out to establish an eight point lead.
Play then resumed in an end to end fashion with neither side able to take advantage of their chances, but Wasps slowly started to come out as the dominant side.
Wasps were finally able to get some reward for their efforts inside the last 10 minutes when Robinson unleashed Will Sharp down the left touchline. Sharp showed some good pace to escape the chasing Joe Ajuwa and slide in for a try in the left hand corner. Robinson nailed the conversion from the touchline to make it just a one point game.
Despite their best efforts Wasps were unable to close that gap, despite being on the attack for the remainder of the game and the score remained at London Welsh 30-29 London Wasps when the referee called time on the game.
London Wasps ‘A’ face Harlequins at the stoop next Monday night in the penultimate fixture of this season’s Aviva A League.