REPORT | Wasps A 32-22 Gloucester United

Date: 8 Mar 2020

Wasps A made it three bonus-point wins in a row after running in four tries to beat Gloucester United 32-22 in Round 5 of the Premiership Rugby Shield at Broadstreet RFC.

Gloucester led 15-14 at the break courtesy of tries for Henry Trinder and Corne Fourie, along with a Stephen Varney penalty, with Sam Spink and Rob Miller crossing for the hosts.

In the second period, a Searle penalty and Ben Onyeama-Christie try had Wasps 22-15 up but Jake Morris’ converted try levelled proceedings till Rob Miller landed a penalty from the halfway line.

And Wasps wrapped things up five minutes from time with Tom Bacon’s bonus-point try to make it a double over Gloucester for the weekend, following Saturday’s 39-22 first-team win.

The young Wasps started on the frontfoot right from the off, as Owain James applied the pressure from the kick-off to force a knock-on and almost managed to scoop it to run for the line. But from the resulting scrum, skipper Sam Wolstenholme dinked the ball through for centre Spink to chase and dot down. Searle then added the extras to make it 7-0 within two minutes.

Gloucester gradually worked their way into the game over the next 15 minutes and after a number of visits to the Wasps 22, they were finally rewarded when Varney slotted a penalty after the hosts were pinged for not rolling away.

Wasps looked dangerous when using their widemen but it was the visitors who continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and territory.

However, after James caused some problems and putting pressure on Gloucester following his chip-and-chase, Wasps managed to win the ball back and following a quick-tap penalty from Searle, he went through before teeing up Miller to sprint in by the posts. The former then added the extras to make it 14-3.

Wasps then gifted the cherry-and-whites a score when Tom Stanton intercepted James’ pass by his 10-metre and he had Trinder in support to go over.

Another loose pass almost saw Gloucester in again with an intercept, but Wasps tracked back to relieve the danger and then booted away to halfway through the impressive boot of Searle.

But just a minute later, a breakdown offence allowed the visitors to kick to the corner and they mauled over with Fourie scoring. Varney’s low kick was good from the touchline and Gloucester took the lead for the first time in the game.

A powerful carry from Jack Owlett got Wasps on the frontfoot and they soon won a penalty which Searle nudged right to the corner flag. However, with a great opportunity for a maul try, Wasps lost it forward at the lineout and the chance went begging before the half-time whistle.

Jack Reeves made a slick break soon after the interval to get Gloucester up to the 22 and although Jeff Toomaga-Allen did well to track back, his tackle was high and he was sent to the sin-bin. Despite the pressure, Wasps pinched the lineout and escaped the danger.

Wasps won a penalty with their 14 men and kicked to the corner and with Archie Benson sin-binned for Gloucester, the hosts couldn’t take advantage as the lineout went awry.

A few minutes later though, they were back ahead when Searle slotted a penalty after a high tackle, and they further extended the lead following a nice move which saw Rob Miller, Ashley Johnson, Cameron Anderson and Mario Pichardie combine to get into the 22. The big men then arrived and replacement Onyeama-Christie smashed over from close range.

The cherry-and-whites fought back when Reeves cut a nice line before sending over Morris and Varney’s conversion levelled the scores at 22-22 with just over ten minutes to go.

However, a rather unusual penalty was awarded to Wasps right after Gloucester’s conversion for some unsporting conduct and Miller landed the mammoth kick to edge his team in front.

The Black and Golds then produced a nice move through the backs with Anderson bursting through before unselfishly sending in Bacon at the corner for the try-bonus point. Rain started belting down again as Searle slotted the conversion.

Gloucester tried to pick up some bonus points late on but Wasps defended stoutly to deny them, coming away with the full five points and leaving the visitors empty-handed, while also leapfrogging them in the Premiership Shield Northern Conference into third place.

Next up Wasps A take on Worcester Cavaliers on Monday 23 March at Broadstreet RFC (kick-off 7pm).

Timeline
2m | Spink try 5-0
3m | Searle con 7-0
16m | Varney pen 7-3
25m | Miller try 12-3
26m | Searle con 14-3
29m | Trinder try 14-8
37m | Fourie try 14-13
38m | Varney con 14-15
56m | Searle pen 17-15
60m | Onyeama-Christie try 22-15
68m | Morris try 22-20
69m | Varney con 22-22
70m | Miller pen 25-22
75m | Bacon try 30-22
76m | Searle con 32-22

Wasps A | 15 Rob Miller, 14 Owain James, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Cameron Anderson, 11 Tom Bacon (Williams 75), 10 Billy Searle, 9 Sam Wolstenholme (c) (Porter 40); 1 Jack Owlett (Onyeama-Christie 54), 2 Ashley Johnson (Dickinson 75), 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen (Nearchou 69), 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Theo Vukasinovic, 6 Ben Morris (Ademuwagun 75), 7 James Tunney (Pichardie 25 {Nearchou 46-54}), 8 Tom Willis

Replacements | 16 Jack Dickinson, 17 Ben Onyeama-Christie, 18 Zac Nearchou, 19 Mario Pichardie, 20 Anjo Ademuwagun, 21 Will Porter, 22 Nick Harris, 23 Jude Williams