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Bath United down Wasps A at The Rec

London Wasps were defeated in their opening A league game, losing 36-16 to a strong Bath outfit at The Rec

Bath started brightly and Wasps needed a well won turnover from debutant hooker Carlo Festuccia to clear their lines just a metre out in the opening exchanges.

The Bath rolling maul created some early problems for a new look Wasps pack, but their defence held firm.

After eight minutes, Wasps had a chance to open up attack. Matt Everard and Rory Pitman contributed to moving the ball wide quickly after Alafoti Fa’osiliva had dropped a quickly tapped free kick, and a lovely pass from Joe Carlisle put Alex Harrison into space. The youngster made 40 metres before being hauled down but Wasps won the penalty and Carlisle put his side 3-0 up.

Bath hit back right away with a try from Tom Biggs who latched onto a lovely pass from Ludi Hopkinson and the conversion from Tom Heathcote made it 3-7.

Bath then had a lengthy period of possession up front and Wasps were soon back defending their own try line. Will Spencer burrowed over the line to make it 12-3 after 20 minutes.
Heathcote missed the conversion but did add a penalty a minute later to make it 15-3 before adding another just before the half hour mark.

A powerful run from Rory Pitman got Wasps into the Bath 22 and Nathan Hughes came close to scoring before the ball was moved wide and Harrison dived over for a try to make it 18-8.

Once again Bath responded well and Heathcote pushed the lead out to 21-8 as Wasps were reduced to 14 after Hughes was yellow carded for an indiscretion on the floor just a metre out.

Carlisle then pushed over a penalty to make it 21-11 at the break with Kane Palma-Newport this time being shown a yellow for a replica offence at the other end of the field.

Photography credit: Onside Images

Photography credit: Onside Images

Joe Carlisle and James Cannon were replaced by Ben West and Guys Patterson at halftime.

Bath had the first points of the second half when Heathcote knocked over a penalty after Pitman was pinged for a high tackle. But Wasps really stepped it up in attack and with Esteban Lozada, Pitman and Vea running hard, they were almost over the line but for the ball to just spill and knock on half a metre out.

The Wasps scrum was also getting the edge and Bath were then forced to defend – doing well when Tom Howe broke the line.

Jamie Kilbane then came on for Billy Moss.

Wasps then conceded a frustrating penalty after that good spell of possession, but Heathcote was just wide with his kick. But Bath were back on the attack quickly and a lovely floated pass from Heathcote saw Ludi Hopkinson dive over.

Gus Jones, Louis Clayton-Molloy and Harry Williams then all came on for Wasps.

Pitman hobbled off shortly after with a leg injury, but Wasps sparked back to life quickly with a great break from Hughes which almost took Gus Jones to the line after he latched onto the offload. The ball moved wide but the knock on from O’Neill ended a lovely piece of play.

Wasps weren’t done though and when the impressive Hughes broke from the base of the scrum, play moved out to young Tom Howe who dived over in the corner.

Bath made one last ditch effort at a fourth try but some fine tackling from young Gus Jones kept them out before finally Palmer Newport burrowed over to make it 36-16 at the death.

Bath: 15. Ludi Hopkinson, 14. Marcus Beer, 13. Max Clark, 12. Gavin Henson, 11. Tom Biggs, 10. Tom Heathcote, 9. Chris Cook. 1. Charlie Beech, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Kane Palma-Newport, 4. Will Spencer, 5. Charlie Ewels, 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Will Skuse, 8. Alafoti Fa'osiliva
Replacements 16. Tom Woolstencroft, 17. Adam Jamieson, 18. Greg Palmer, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Max Northcote-Green, 21. Rory Jennings, 22. Will Homer , 23. George Trick
London Wasps
15.Liam O'Neill , 14.Tom Howe , 13.Alex Harrison , 12.Tommy Bell , 11.Josh Bassett , 10.Joe Carlisle , 9.Jack Moates, 1.Billy Moss 2.Carlo Festuccia , 3.Taione Vea , 4.Esteban Lozada . 5.James Cannon , 6.Nathan Hughes , 7.Matt Everard (C) , 8. Rory Pitman
Replacements: 16.Kevin Davis, 17.Jamie Kilbane, 18.Harry Williams, 19.Ben West, 20.Gus Jones 21.Callum Grant 22.Gus Patterson 23.Louis Clayton-Molloy

Pictures by Onside Images

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