Wasps A win scintillating game against Newcastle
Date: 11 Sep 2018
39 - 36
Mon 10th September 2018
Ivor Preece Field, Broadstreet RFC
Ivor Preece Field, Broadstreet RFC
A scintillating second-half brace from Taju Atta helped Wasps A edge a 39-36 thriller against Newcastle Falcons on Monday night.
Jon Pendlebury's young side had raced into a 17-point lead with 25 minutes remaining before the visiting Falcons rallied to score three unanswered tries in a five-minute period while Wasps were reduced to 14 men.
But a second try from substitute winger Atta and a Sam Spink effort saw the black-and-golds over the line to earn a first Premiership Rugby Shield win of the season.
Falcons opened the scoring after just six minutes when flanker Dalton Redpath walked in untouched down the right wing, but the Wasps response was instant.
Working the numbers out wide in the eighth minute, Will Simonds cantered behind enemy lines before scooping back for Will Porter to touch down under the posts. Fly-half Sunni Jardine converted to put the hosts ahead.
Early penalties hurt Wasps and from a 12th minute close-range lineout, Simon Uzokwe drove over with ease for Newcastle.
A seesaw opening quarter ended with Wasps loosehead prop George Thornton racing home from 25 metres out after a beautifully-timed pass from Jardine - who added a penalty 12 minutes before half-time to put Wasps seven points ahead.
Wasps lost both Porter and Gaby Oghre to injury with Josh Nott and Alfie Barbeary entering proceedings.
Jardine's confidently struck penalty following Callum Sirker's lively break saw Wasps take a 20-10 lead into the break.
Blustery conditions at Ivor Preece Field intensified in the second half with Wasps guilty of wayward kicks from hand as the Falcons dominated possession for the ten-minute period after the restart
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards watched on from the stands as his young players failed to deal with a break from Kieran Curran down the right wing that freed Atta to sprint infield and score under the posts. Jardine's conversion moved Wasps 27-10 ahead.
Wasps lost teenage hooker Barbeary to the sin bin and Falcons made the extra man pay scoring three tries in five minutes through Paul Mullen, Ben Stevenson and Drew Davidson. Two successful conversions moved Falcons 29-27 in front.
With Tom Willis throwing into the lineout in the absence of Oghre and temporarily, Barbeary, Wasps capitalised on loose ball with Atta pouncing and rolling over in the right corner. Jardine boomed over a confident touchline conversion in swirling winds and Wasps took a 34-29 advantage into the last ten minutes.
Centre Spink, operating as a makeshift flanker, showed great instinct to poach loose ruck ball before putting on the afterburners from 25 metres out and give Wasps some daylight at 39-29.
Zach Kibirige's pacy final try for Newcastle ensured a nervy final few minutes but Wasps held firm to secure a win that helped banish the memories of a 21-67 defeat the last time the teams met at Broadstreet 12 months ago.
Wasps A: Owain James, Josh Grimes, Sam Spink, Will Simonds, Callum Sirker, Sunni Jardine, Will Porter (c), George Thornton, Gabriel Oghre, Alex Hunt, Josh Fenner, Tim Cardall, Kieran Curran, Jack Dickinson,Tom Willis (c).
Replacements: Alfie Barbeary, Jamie Jack, Jack Higgins, Joe Tunney, Will Cardall, Josh Nott, Cameron Anderson, Taju Atta
Tries: Atta (2), Thornton, Porter, Spink
Conversions: Jardine (4)
Penalties: Jardine (2)