Match Report: Wasps U18s 28-12 Bath U18s

Wasps U18s came away with a 28-12 win over Bath U18s at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

The first U18 League fixture of the season for both sides was hotly contested and it was only in the second half that Wasps managed to develop some ball control and as a result ran in three second half tries, which took the game away from the South West club.

In the first half both sides struggled to get any continuity in their play and the game was littered with handling errors despite the best endeavours of all players.  As the half wore on, the Wasps pack began to get some go forward, with some good carries from number 8 Tom Willis and second row Ehize Ehizode. This resulted in two penalties that were converted by scrum half and captain Will Porter, which suggested that the young Wasps were growing into the game. The half ended with a six point advantage to the home side.

An error from the second half kick-off gifted Bath possession and they worked the opportunity well to go over for the first score of the game. Wasps responded well and gained a foothold in the Bath half and after some good attacking thrusts with backs and forwards combing well, a further penalty was slotted by Porter to put Wasps back in the lead.

After the score, Wasps were straight back on the attack and pressing hard in the Bath 22. With a penalty advantage to go back to if needed, Finn Pietersen executed a well-placed cross-field kick, which Matt Illube was able to ground just inside the corner flag, the conversion was wide and the score was now 14-6 in the home side's favour.

Replacement hooker Tom Guthrie came on and made some hard yards, which created more space out wide for Wasps’ backs. Centres Nico Petros and Caleb Shepherd consequently began to make the most of the open expanses of the Ricoh Arena. It was the forwards though who claimed the next score, as they executed a catch and drive to great effect and Will Glover grounded the ball for the score. The try was converted by Petros.

With the game drawing to a close, the dangerous Bath back three broke free and despite some valiant last ditch cover tackling, they were able to offload to gain a well-deserved second score.  Wasps again responded well to conceding and after a series of close range drives, Tom Willis burrowed over for the final score of the game, which was converted by Pietersen, taking the final score to 28-12 and securing Wasps a deserved win.

The Wasps’ Academy season is well and truly underway now and this Friday Wasps U19s will take on Bedford U19s at Maidenhead RFC, 19:45 KO.