With a small squad weakened by some early-season injuries, Wasps 'A' travelled down to Exeter on Monday night with a tough 80 minutes ahead of them.
The size of that task was clear from the opening moments when Exeter went ahead after just four minutes. Some patient build up and some well worked phases, sucked the Wasps defence into the short game in midfield before the home side spread the ball wide to expose an overlap and finished a two on one, with Rob Langley going in under the posts. Henry Slade added the extras to give his side a 7-0 lead.
The home side were straight back on the attack, moving deep into the visitors’ 22. They were awarded a penalty and Slade opted to take a shot at goal, which he put over to extend the hosts’ lead to 10-0.
From the restart the home side picked up their second try of the game to go into a dominant lead after just 9 minutes. Exeter moved the ball out wide, busting through two tackles for Fetu’u Vainikolo to go over under the posts. Slade had no issue with the extras and his side held a 17-0 lead.
Having not had the ball in an attacking position for the first ten minutes, Wasps finally found some rythmn, working through the phases to move into the Exeter half. Strong carries from Nathan Hughes, Taione Vea and Elvis Seveali’i gave the visitors good field position. Inside the attacking 22 metre, Adam Peters ran a great line to break the Exeter defence, offloading to Jack Moates who burrowed over for his side’s first points of the game. Carlisle had no problem with the extras to narrow the gap to 10 points with the score at 17-7.
Wasps made their first substitution after 18 minutes with Esteban Lozada limping from the field to be replaced by Rhys Davies.
Exeter quickly returned to the attack, putting the pressure on the Wasps defence. Vea and Hughes turned the ball over with the former holding up the attack with a choke tackle and the latter stealing the ball, but the visitors were penalized for an earlier offside offence. Slade kicked to the corner to give his side a lineout 10 metres out, from which they moved the ball wide for Ceri Sweeney to score in the far right hand corner. Slade was unable to add the extras from the touchline but Exeter held a strong lead at 22-7 after 24 minutes.
Exeter added their bonus point try after 33 minutes when a penalty on halfway allowed Slade to set up an attacking lineout 10 metres out, from which they set up a strong maul that trundled over with Todd Lowry dotting down. Slade added the extras to put his side in a strong 29-7 lead going into halftime.
Wasps made two changes at halftime, with Alex Lundberg and Louis Clayton-Molloy both coming onto the field, replacing Nathan Hughes and Joe Carlisle respectively.
After just two minutes of the second half, despite some promising play from Wasps, Exeter turned the ball over and went the length to pick up their fifth try, with Tom Hendrickson scoring in the corner. Slade couldn’t add the conversion from the touchline leaving the score at 34-7.
Ricky Reeves was replaced by Jamie Kilbane after 51 minutes.
Wasps then picked up their second try of the game, much against the run of play. Alex Harrison kicked deep into the corner and from the resultant lineout the Wasps pack spoiled Exeter’s ball, causing the ball to go loose in the ingoal area and Tommy Spinks the first to react, diving on the ball for his team’s second try of the night. Harrison was unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the score at 34-12 after 47 mins.
Exeter were quick to respond, working their way upfield and Ceri Sweeney gliding through the Wasps defence untouched to score under the posts. The centre then converted his own try to stretch the lead to 41-12 with 56 minutes on the clock.
The hosts then backed this up with another score, this time working the tight defence to crash over under the posts. Sweeney once again added the conversion to leave the score at 48-12.
Taione Vea was the replaced by Tom Francis after 64 minutes.
Exeter got their next try with 65 minutes on the clock, with Sam Blanchet going through the middle of our defence to score under the posts, once again making Sweeney’s job of converting a simple one and pushing the score out to 55-12 to the hosts.
Seven minutes before the end Exeter picked up another, this time Fetu’u Vainikolo bundling over. Sweeney added the extras for a 62-12 scoreline.
With time up Exeter had a prolonged attack which eventually broke down the Wasps defence with Sam Blanchet bundling over. Sweeney added the extras to leave a final score of 69-12.
London Wasps A
4Esteban Lozada (c)
17Jamie Kilbane (London Scottish)
18Tom Francis (London Scottish)
19Rhys Davies (Loughborough)
21Callum Grant (Rosslyn Park)
22Charles Broughton (Rosslyn Park)
Exeter Braves15 Jack Arnott 14 Fetu’u Vainikolo 13 Sireli Naqelevuki 12 Henry Slade 11 Matt Jess 10 Ceri Sweeney (capt) 9 Will Chudley 1 Alex Brown 2 Alex Spurdle 3 Carl Rimmer 4 Will Carrick-Smith 5 James Phillips 6 Rob Langley 7 Todd Lowry 8 Kai Horstmann 16 Jack Innard 17 Kieran Davies 18 Craig Mitchell 19 Jamie Gray 20 Matt Bolwell 21 Stu Townsend 22 Tom Hendrickson 23 Sam Blanchet - See more at: http://www.exeterchiefs.co.uk/news/braves-side-face-wasps/#sthash.O33w18d6.dpuf