Wasps A lose seesaw encounter against Sale Jets
Date: 4 Sep 2018
Ivor Preece Field, Broadstreet RFC
Wasps got off to a good start, but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard, as a crucial turnover by Sale in their own 22 thwarted the home side.
Sale threatened when they intercepted a pass in midfield and only a good chase back by Callum Sirker prevented a try. However, it wasn't long before the visitors did get their first try. Two minutes later, Tom Brady scooped up a neat grubber through to score. Jets fly half Kieran Wilkinson added the conversion from in front.
The Sale lead was extended to 10 points, five minutes later by Wilkinson, with a simple penalty kick.
Wasps then enjoyed their best period of the game and heaped the pressure on through co-captains Tom Willis and Will Porter. This eventually told a quarter of the way through the match. After multiple phases on Sale's line, hooker Jack Dickinson, a guest from Hinckley RFC, went over to score Wasps' first try. Sunni Jardine added the conversion to make it 7-10.
For the next 10 minutes Wasps played a strong territory game, with kicks first from Will Simonds and then Porter pinning Sale deep in their own half. This eventually payed off when Sale infringed in their own 22 and Jardine kicked his first penalty of the match to tie things up at 10 apiece.
Things then got even better just before half time, as Jardine slotted his second penalty of the game to put Wasps in the lead 13-10 at the break.
After the resumption, Sale got off to a quick start and just two minutes in had a try to retake the lead. Left winger Billy Wara collecting a superb kick from Tom Roebuck, after the centre made a great run to slice through the Wasps defence. Wilkinson couldn't add the tough conversion from out wide.
Wasps replied quickly through tight-head prop David Langley. A good break from Cameron Anderson and pleasing continuity from Simonds and Porter allowed the home side to get close to the line. Langley then crashed over from close range and Jardine added the conversion to make it 20-15 to Wasps.
The lead changed hands yet again a few minutes later, when inside centre Conor Doherty picked a hole for Sale to score. Wilkinson made now mistake with the conversion to give Sale a two-point lead.
That lead was extended five minutes later, through Wilkinson's second penalty of the game, taking the score to 20-25.
On the hour mark, Sale took a strangle-hold of the game. Rouban Birch showing impressive speed to sprint over from a nice offload. Wilkinson again converting to make it 20-32.
Wasps then gave themselves a lifeline with their best try of the match. Full back Owain James taking a highball on the run and streaking through the Sale defence to find Jardine in support to go over. Jardine converted his own try to make it 27-32.
Sale all but made the game safe with five minutes to go, as Birch grabbed his second try. The number eight once again showing great toe, after an elusive side-step. Wilkinson added his fourth conversion to leave it at 27-39.
Wasps had one last effort at the Sale line in the dying minutes, in an attempt to grab two losing bonus points, but the Jets hung on in defence to close out the game at 27-39.
Wasps A: Owain James, Josh Grimes, Cameron Anderson, Will Simonds, Callum Sirker, Sunni Jardine, Will Porter (c), George Thornton, Jack Dickinson, David Langley, Joe Tunney, Tim Cardall, Josh Fenner, Kieran Curran, Tom Willis (c).
Replacements: Adam Johnson, Jack Higgins, Alex Hunt, Will Cardall, Silas Pill, Josh Nott, Sam Spink, Taju Atta.
Sale Jets: Nathan Pope, Tom Brady, Tom Roebuck, Connor Doherty, Billy Wara, Kieran Wilkinson, Matt Sturgess, Monty Weatherby, Curtis Langdon, Cal Ford, Rouban Birch, George Nott (c), Ciaran Booth, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Sam Moore.
Replacements:Ewan Ashman, James Harper, Alex Brooks, Witness Mandizha, Sam Dugdale, Raffi Quirke.
Referee: Jack Lewars
Tries: Dickinson, Langley, Jardine
Conversions: Jardine (3)
Penalties: Jardine (2)
Tries: Brady, Wara, Doherty, Birch (2)
Conversions: Wilkinson (4)
Penalties: Wilkinson (2)
Half-time: 13 - 10