Five-try Wasps A hold on for super win over Northampton

Date: 25 Mar 2019

REPORT | Northampton Wanderers 29-31 Wasps A

Wasps A held on for a tremendous 31-29 bonus-point win over Northampton Wanderers in the Premiership Rugby Shield at Franklin’s Gardens on Monday night.

The youngsters led 26-12 at the break after scores from Gabriel Oghre, Ross Neal and two for Callum Sirker, while Tom Emery and Matt Worley struck for the hosts.

Wanderers drew first blood in the second-half when Connor Tupai went over but Michael Le Bourgeois’ try stretched Wasps’ lead back to 14.

However, scores for Devante Onojaife and Karl Garside gave the home side hope of a remarkable comeback and despite Antonio Harris being sin-binned after team offences, the young Wasps showed true grit and resilience to run the clock down under pressure at the death to secure the win.

Wasps enjoyed the early possession and territory and were rewarded with a try after just five minutes when skipper Oghre burrowed over from a powerful driving maul and Jacob Umaga slotted the conversion from the angle.

Wasps continued to cause headaches for the home side as a wonderful sweeping attack from their own half saw Oghre, Neal, Tom Willis, Le Bourgeois and Sam Spink link up to get into the 22 before Northampton intercepted to escape the danger.

However, after they kicked away, the subsequent attack from Wasps saw them manage to squeeze down the left flank with Le Bourgeois, and after good ground made by Kearnan Myall, the big man found Neal who galloped to the line, smashing off tacklers to dot down.

Northampton hit back when they got the ball wide right and a lovely inside ball for Emery saw the full back run a nice diagonal to the line.

Wasps extended their lead when Sirker managed to exploit space down the left wing before squaring up to run in closer to the posts and Umaga’s kick extended the lead to 14 points.

The hosts bounced back straight from the restart as Emery ghosted in to score, but Wasps had the last say of the half to secure the bonus point when Sirker danced through the middle of the field from the 22 to go under the posts for Umaga to restore their 14-point advantage.

The second-half began with Northampton getting the first points as Tupai wriggled through to touch down from five metres.

Wasps then produced a superb fifth try after Ben Morris, Craig Hampson and Cameron Anderson linked up before Le Bourgeois provided support down the right flank to storm over.

The hosts then got back into the contest when Onojaife crashed over from close range after they made the most of some space down the right but another missed conversion meant they still trailed by nine.

Wanderers dominated the last quarter and when Harris was yellow-carded after a series of team offences, the hosts capitalised with tighthead Karl Garside sliding over from close range. Robbie Povey’s conversion reduced the gap to two to set up a tense final five minutes.

But Wasps held tight, kicking effectively for field position before holding possession through the phases on halfway for the final few minutes, to grind out a fantastic win.

They’ll welcome Leicester Tigers A to Broadstreet RFC in Round 8 of the competition this Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

Wasps A | 15 Cameron Anderson (Jardine 76), 14 Ross Neal, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Callum Sirker, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Craig Hampson (Porter 51), 1 Simon McIntyre (West 59), 2 Gabriel Oghre (A Harris 59), 3 Biyi Alo (Langley 50), 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Kearnan Myall (Fenner 50), 6 Ben Morris, 7 Joe Atkinson (Rieder 51), 8 Tom Willis

Replacements | 16 Antonio Harris, 17 Tom West, 18 David Langley, 19 Josh Fenner, 20 Alex Rieder, 21 Will Porter, 22 Sunni Jardine, 23 Taju Atta

04m | Oghre try 0-5
05m | Umaga con 0-7
12m | Neal try 0-12
23m | Emery try 5-12
33m | Sirker try 5-17
34m | Umaga con 5-19
35m | Worley try 10-19
36m | Lewis con 12-19
39m | Sirker try 12-24
40m | Umaga con 12-26
45m | Tupai try 17-26
49m | Le Bourgeois 17-31
59m | Onojaife try 22-31
74m | Garside try 27-31
75m | Povey con 29-31