Wasps win their two games on day one of Singha 7s

Date: 28 Jul 2017

Wasps made a confident start to the defence of the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s title, with two runaway wins to take them safely into the quarterfinals.

Wasps began their title defence with a comfortable win over Newcastle Falcons, with Josh Bassett claiming two of his side’s five tries, in a 31-10 victory.

Newcastle went ahead inside the first minute, after Cameron Cowell switched the direction of an attack to pierce the defence, before offloading to Adam Radwan, who went over near the right corner. Cowell missed the difficult conversion.

Christian Wade’s first run of the night came when he appeared outside Marcus Watson to make 20 metres, before the cover defence forced him into touch.

Newcastle had a great chance to stretch their lead, following a powerful charge by Gary Graham, but George Wacokecoke dropped his inside pass, with a 30-metre run in to the line beckoning.

They were made to pay for the miss, when Marcus Watson ran in from halfway, after a neat interchange of passes with Guy Thompson. Watson missed the conversion, but Wasps went ahead seconds before the break, when Dan Robson chipped over the defence and gathered his own kick to touch down behind the posts. He added the conversion to make the halftime score 12-5.

Wasps stretched their lead at the start of the second half, after Alex Rieder’s successful challenge for Robson’s excellent restart. The ball was quickly moved out to the left, and Josh Bassett had an easy run-in to the line. Robson’s conversion took the score to 19-5.

New signing Gaby Lovobavalu, who had only just come on as a replacement, was cut on  the head in a tackle, and was forced to leave the field, being replaced by Brendan Macken.

Radwan went over a second try in the corner, to bring his side back into the game, but a second converted try for Josh Bassett, after another Robson chip over the defence and excellent work at the breakdown by Marcus Watson, took Wasps three scores clear.  Guy Thompson’s try in the corner, seconds from the end, made the final score 31-10.

By the time Wasps took to the field for their second game, against Leicester Tigers, steady rain had been falling for some time, making conditions difficult. The good news was that Gabi Lovobalavu had recovered from his head injury, to take his place in the starting lineup. It was his persistent defence which won Wasps the penalty which led to their opening try.

Craig Hampson took a quick tap on halfway, Wasps attacked down the right, before coming back infield and Brendan Macken‘s excellent angled run took him through the defence for an excellent try near the left corner. Marcus Watson’s conversion attempt came back off the right post.

A second try soon followed, when Lovobalavu’s deft offload sent Josh Bassett in from halfway. Craig Hampson’s conversion took the score to 12-0 and Lovobavalu himself added a third try, after Wasps won quick possession from a scrum inside the Leicester 22. Marcus Watson  added the extra points, with a well-struck conversion.

A breakaway by Leicester almost brought them their first try, but a kick to the corner bounced into the in-goal area, where Josh Bassett gathered. Instead of touching down for a 22, he fed Marcus Watson, whose pace and footwork took him up to halfway, before quick passing sent Brendan Macken in for his second try, to make the halftime score 24-0.

A fifth Wasps try came within seconds of the restart, after Macken cut through the defence to send Guy Armitage in at the left corner. The conversion was missed, but Wasps were already well clear at 29-0.

Replacement Dan Robson created the next score, as he gathered a loose ball near halfway to break away down the right. He could have scored himself, but chose to pass to Owain James, who had just joined the action and touched down for a simple try, which Robson converted.

With two minutes still to play, the best attack of the night, a wonderful flowing move which began out wide on the right, inside the Wasps half, ended with Christian Wade dancing over for a magnificent score near the left corner. Robson landed a superb conversion and there was still time for Craig Hampson to race away from a scrum on halfway to add another try. Robson’s conversion made the final score 52-0. 

Wasps finished the pool stages as number one seeds and will face Sale Sharks in the first Cup Quarter-Final tomorrow at 3pm.