London Wasps 19 Harlequins 24
This was a classic game of two halves with Harlequins grabbing four tries in the first half to open up a 26-0 and with Wasps fighting back to nil their opponents in the second half and score three themselves.
Wasps got off to a poor start against Harlequins who dominated totally in the opening exchanges.
Failure to deal with the hanging kick offs proved a particular problem, with Charlie Walker profiting from a knock on from the start to cut through and open the scoring for Quins and Jack Clifford scoring from a similar position a minute later.
Patrice Agunda made it three tries for Quins before finally Wasps enjoyed some possession and a burst from Guy Thompson had them over the halfway line. The pass was dropped through and Walker added a fourth before the turnaround.
As the second half started, brave tackling from Tom Howe helped Wasps win a turnover through Guy Thompson and Gus Jones pinned his ears back to score a try from the 22.
Thompson, who enjoyed a fine debut, then bumped some tackles on the way to the line after another good tackle from Howe.
Then Tom Varndell was over for his first try to give Wasps a shot at levelling the game, but time just ran out as Quins took it by seven points having failed to score in the second half.
London Wasps 17 Saracens 21
Saracens started strongly in this game with Wasps forced to make try line tackles from the off. A concession of too many penalties saw Guy Thompson sent to the bin and the pressure told with Chris Ashton scoring the opening try.
Thompson came back on make a big impact, with some nice buildup play from Varndell and Jack Moates putting him over for the first Wasps try of the game to make it 7-5 to the hosts.
Varndell was starting to find his Sevens feet with some decent footwork to break some tackles and then as Chris Ashton seemed certain to score just before the break, he was hauled back brilliantly by young Tom Howe to keep the scores 7-5 at the break.
Wasps gifted Saracens an easy try at the start of the second half with a series of risky passes finally being intercepted by Michael Tagicakibau who made it 14-5. Ben Ransom then extended the lead with another after a burst through the Wasps defensive line.
Howe then showed a clean pair of heels to sprint from the Wasps 22 to score under the posts to make it 21-12 and Wasps weren’t done after some enterprising play from Liam O’Neill handed Howe another sprint to the line.
The 18-year-old didn’t need to be asked twice and he burst through to ensure Wasps ended on a high.
London Wasps 19 London Irish 31
The opening minutes were scrappy in this game but Irish took the lead through Juliano Fiori seconds after Guy Thompson, who had enjoyed a good night, limped off injured.
Irish then scored again through Tom Fowlie and Gerard Ellis added another a minute later as Wasps started to miss far too many tackles and their opponents took a 17-0 lead into the second half
Much like the second half in the previous game, Wasps handed an easy try to the their opponents with a passing error a minute in with Will Smith easily intercepting to see Irish go 24-0 up.
Finally Wasps broke through though with Academy youngster Oskar Hirskyj Douglas making a good tackle and then taking the ball to score under the posts with Liam O’Neill converting.
Wasps scored again right away through George Eastwell who finished very well and the convertion made it 24-14.
A nice chip and chase from James Greenwood then put paid to any thoughts of a comeback ,with Irish pushing it out to 31-14 and then Sam Egerton saw Wasps end positively with a nice try before the death.
James Wade, Coach: “Playing in the back to back games was quite tough but I thought the young lads really tried their hearts out. We have had a tough couple of seasons in this competition and with the senior squad heading to France tomorrow we had to play a lot of very young guys here from our Academy . I thought there were some very encouraging performances from those boys. I thought Tom Howe was outstanding for an 18-year-old and then George Eastwell showed some touches of class as did Liam O’Neill and others. Next year when they come back to play in this they will be stronger for it and hopefully it stands us in good stead.”
Guy Thompson “In almost all of the games we just got off to too slow a start. In the second halves we showed much better and showed some really good glimpses but we gave ourselves too much to do. The last game against London Irish really didn’t go our way but I genuinely think there are some positives we can take from tonight given the youth in the squad and so on. We showed some nice touches and those young guys did really well. It took them a while to get into it but they stepped up and the next time they play they will take that experience on board with them. For the rest of us, we are very much looking forward to heading to France tomorrow to a different environment and a week away from Acton. It’s sunny there too so that’s not bad either!”
London Wasps squad: