Wasps miss out to Saracens after reaching sixth consecutive 7s final

Date: 13 Sep 2019


Wasps made it to a sixth consecutive Premiership 7s final but couldn't get past holders Saracens.

Nevertheless, it was an impressive campaign as the young squad ran in 31 tries in their five outings over the two days. 

The side, coached by Attack & Backs Coach Lee Blackett, Transition Coach Matt Everard and former England 7s man Marcus Watson, beat Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers on day one before seeing off Tigers and Bristol Bears on day two to meet Saracens in the final. 

DAY 1

REPORT | Wasps 50-5 Bath Rugby

Wasps romped to a 50-5 win in their opening Premiership Rugby 7s game as they ran in eight tries against Bath Rugby. 

Callum Sirker opened the scoring immediately after fine work from Ross Neal to create space before Jacob Umaga, Zach Kibirige and finally Ben Vellacott combined to set the winger away out wide. Great defence then forced a turnover penalty on halfway which allowed Neal to put Umaga into space for a second try before Neal tipped back the restart to Kibirige to grab his first try in the Black and Gold. 

Nacanieli Kinikinilau got one back for Bath but Wasps dominated thereafter as Sirker grabbed a second try after Kibirige's electric pace and power got Wasps deep. It was 24-5 at the break and straight after the restart another new boy in Vellacott got on the scoresheet after darting into a gap before Paolo Odogwu scored soon after coming on, with a powerful surge down the right. 

Fine defence from skipper Will Wilson put pressure on Bath and Gabriel Oghre's intercept set Sirker away for his hat-trick and the winger completed an emphatic victory as he went over at the death. 

Tries: Sirker (4), Umaga, Kibirige, Vellacott, Odogwu 
Conversions: Umaga (4), Vellacott

REPORT | Wasps 48-5 Leicester Tigers 

Wasps ran in eight tries to make it 98 points in two matches as they despatched Leicester Tigers.

Wasps opened the scoring after Odogwu and Kibirige linked up and the latter pushed past his man to run to the line. 

Tigers bounced back with a Joe Browning try but Odogwu bagged two tries before the break - the first coming after a strong surge from Oghre and the second following a sweeping move across the backline. 

Will Porter then produced a sublime finish after the efforts of Oghre and Kibirige to secure the bonus-point score, and scrum-half Porter then turned provider after his piercing break had Umaga in support, who did well to kick and collect the ball before darting over the whitewash. 

Wasps got a sixth as Vellacott's dancing footwork paved the way for big lock Thibaud Flament to crash over in the corner and then Flament returned the favour as he claimed the restart and Vellacott dazzled his way to the line. 

The big Frenchman then completed the win with Wasps' eighth try as he smashed through tacklers and climbed over the line for a fine score - securing Wasps' place in Saturday's 7s quarter-finals. 

Tries: Flament (2), Odogwu (2), Kibirige, Umaga, Vellacott, Porter
Conversions: Umaga (2), Vellacott, Jardine


DAY TWO


QUARTER-FINAL REPORT | Wasps 26-20 Leicester Tigers

Wasps edged Leicester Tigers into the semi-finals of the Premiership 7s after running in four tries.

A Vellacott mispass allowed Jonny Law a free run at the line as Tigers took the lead before scrum-half Vellacott made amends with a jinking run and Umaga's conversion made it 7-5. 

But Leicester looked a different side from the day before, as tries for Freddie Steward and Toby Smith had them 15-7 up at half-time.

With a number of Wasps fans in support, the men in Black and Gold looked to turn it around as Sirker shook off tacklers and Umaga's kick brought them within one point. 

Odogwu then showed real venom as he rocketed crossfield from near halfway before rounding two defenders and cutting inside for Umaga to land another conversion and put Wasps 21-15 ahead. 

Sirker then got the ball in space out wide and ran in from 40 metres, galloping past two tacklers to give Wasps breathing space. Joe Browning grabbed one back for Tigers with seconds remaining and despite Leicester winning the ball back after the restart, a knock-on ended proceedings to see Wasps into the semis. 

Tries: Sirker (2), Vellacott, Odogwu
Conversions: Umaga (3)


SEMI-FINAL REPORT | Wasps 54-12 Bristol Bears

Wasps raced in eight tries to thrash Bristol Bears 54-12 in the semi-finals of the Premiership 7s. 

Good work from Neal early on created room for Sirker who had Flament in support to touch down before an almighty 80-metre sprint from Odogwu put them 14-0 ahead. 

More ferocious pace and power from wideman Odogwu saw him bag his second, becoming the competition's record try-scorer in doing so, before Bears pulled one back through Cole Swannock. 

Last-ditch defending from Porter, Umaga and Sirker showed Wasps' commitment to the cause and Lee Blackett's side effectively put the game to bed when Porter's dash from inside his own half allowed Umaga to go over the chalk. 

Flament then battered his way from the 22, coming agonisingly close before Umaga added his second by dotting the ball at the base of the sticks. Toby Venner responded for Bristol in the corner. 

But Wasps ran riot at the end after Robbie Smith's red card for a dangerous tackle on Porter. Sunni Jardine poached a gap near the posts, Sirker crept round his man to run in from outside the 22 and Jardine got a second with the last play, following a barrage of pressure on the Bears tryline. 

Tries: Jardine (2), Umaga (2), Odogwu (2), Flament, Sirker
Conversions: Umaga (7)

FINAL REPORT | Wasps 19-35 Saracens

Wasps ran out of steam in the final as holders Saracens sealed a 35-19 win in front of a Wasps-packed crowd at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.

Wasps raced into a 12-0 lead after Porter sprinted into a gap from 40 metres before Kibirige and Sirker linked up to allow Umaga a score. However, the holders bounced back with three tries before the break from Alistair Crossdale, Tom Whiteley and Andrew Christie. 

Christie finished off a fine Sarries move early in the second-half to all but seal the contest before Sirker's wonderful long-range effort gave his side hope. 

But Charlie Watson squeezed into a gap to end Wasps' hopes, securing back-to-back titles for Saracens. 

Tries: Sirker, Umaga, Porter
Conversions: Umaga (2)

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