REPORT | Worcester Cavaliers 8-26 Wasps A
On a rain-soaked evening at Sixways, Wasps A produced another impressive display to record their third consecutive bonus-point win, as four first-half tries saw them defeat Worcester Cavaliers 26-8 on Monday.
After Scott van Breda’s penalty gave the home side the lead, Wasps came back with two tries in quick succession through Jacob Umaga and Antonio Harris, with Umaga adding both conversions.
Wynand Olivier’s try narrowed the gap to six points but further tries from Tim Cardall and Callum Sirker put Wasps 26-8 ahead at half-time – and that was how it stayed after a pointless second-half in the treacherous weather conditions at Sixways.
The game got underway with steady rain falling but both sides immediately committed themselves to keeping the ball in hand. After only four minutes, Wasps skipper Gabriel Oghre went down after putting in a heavy tackle in midfield. After a lengthy stoppage, he was carried off on a stretcher and Harris came on to replace him with Will Porter taking over the captaincy.
With nine minutes gone, a strong run by James Seabrook broke the defensive line and a powerful forwards drive took play over halfway, but the ball was buried at the breakdown and Worcester were awarded the scrum put-in. Perry Humphreys then combined with Van Breda and Carl Kirwan to cut through the Wasps defence but the ball was knocked on just inside the 22.
Three minutes later, Van Breda landed a 40-metre penalty to open the scoring.
It took barely two minutes for Wasps to respond and take the lead. With the rain intensifying, Tom Willis powered away from a scrum on the 22 to feed Umaga and the fly half spun out of two tackles to touch down near the posts. He then added the conversion to give his side a 7-3 lead with 15 minutes played.
They stretched the lead on 21 minutes after a powerful lineout drive from near the right corner. As the maul rumbled infield, the backs joined in and replacement Harris was the man to apply the finishing touch for the try, which Umaga converted.
Worcester came straight back when Olivier chased Will Butler’s kick ahead to gather and charge over near the right corner.
Wasps were soon back on the scoresheet with another try from a driving lineout. This time Cardall was the scorer and Umaga landed a superb conversion from wide out on the left.
The bonus point came moments later when Sirker put in a dazzling 60-metre burst to cross for a spectacular try in the right corner. Umaga’s conversion attempt came back off the right-hand post, leaving the half-time score at 26-8.
The home side began the second-half strongly, with several minutes of intense pressure putting the Wasps defence to a severe test. After ten minutes camped in their 22, the Wasps forwards put in a powerful scrum to drive Worcester backwards and a speculative chip through the defence was touched down for a 22 dropout.
The rain, which had eased for the start of the second-half, soon returned with a vengeance, making handling increasingly difficult. Neither side were able to find any fluency and most of the play took place between the 22-metre lines.
Thirteen minutes from time, Worcester finally returned to the Wasps 22 with a lineout near the left corner, but resolute defence stopped the driving maul in its tracks and a clearance from the resultant scrum took play up to the ten-metre line.
Deep into injury time, the impressive Wasps scrum again applied the pressure to set up Willis for a powerful burst into the 22. A penalty and a lineout near the left corner followed. Wasps took the ball through phase after phase, but then conceded a penalty a few metres from the line. Worcester cleared to their ten-metre and won the lineout, but a knock-on ended a soggy but satisfying evening for the men in Black and Gold.
WASPS A | 15 Cameron Anderson (Jardine 61), 14 Ross Neal, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Callum Sirker (Atta 61), 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter (Clement 74); 1 Tom West (Onyeama-Christie 52-78), 2 Gabriel Oghre (c) (Harris 5), 3 Kieran Brookes (Alo 40-74), 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Kearnan Myall (Matthews 40), 6 Alex Rieder, 7 James Seabrook (Curran 52), 8 Tom Willis
Replacements | 16 Antonio Harris, 17 Ben Onyeama-Christie, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Kieran Curran, 21 Henry Clement, 22 Sunni Jardine, 23 Taju Atta
11m | Van Breda pen 3-0
14m | T Willis try 3-5
15m | Umaga con 3-7
22m | A Harris try 3-12
23m | Umaga con 3-14
25m | Olivier try 8-14
32m | Cardall try 8-19
33m | Umaga con 8-21
37m | Sirker try 8-26