Eight-try Wasps stun Saracens

Date published: February 14 2016

Wasps produced a wonderful performance against Saracens in the Premiership on Sunday, running out 64-23 winners at Allianz Park.

In a remarkable opening half, the Coventry-based outfit went into a 19-0 lead after just eight minutes with tries from Charles Piutau, Thomas Young and Dan Robson.

Sarries reduced the arrears through Charlie Hodgson's penalty and Samuela Vunisa's touchdown before Nathan Hughes went over for the visitors.

Although Hodgson added two further penalties, Hughes crossed the whitewash for the second time as Wasps went into the break 31-16 up.

The away side scored three more tries in the second period through Jimmy Gopperth, Piutau and Robson as they moved into the top-four, although Jim Hamilton managed a consolation effort for the hosts.

Dai Young's men have struggled for consistency this season, despite showing their quality with several victories over some top teams, but any doubts about what they would produce against the London team was dispelled within the first 10 minutes.

Wasps were on top early on and scored first when Christian Wade displayed electric pace to latch onto a loose ball. The ball was immediately shifted wide and Piutau touched down from close range.

Thomas Young, son of their director of rugby, soon followed him over after good work by the New Zealand international full-back and Josh Bassett before Robson made it 19-0.

The defending Premiership champions were clearly shocked but managed to regain their composure as Hodgson kicked a penalty. Vunisa then scored and it appeared as though the hosts were finding their fluency.

However, their defence, usually such a reliable part of their armoury, was obviously feeling the effects of the departure of coach Paul Gustard to England. They were being cut open at will by a brilliant Wasps' performance and Hughes got himself on the scoreboard.

Hodgson briefly gave the home team hope with a second three-pointer, but the visiting number eight soon found himself with a clear run to the line as they moved into a 31-13 advantage.

Sarries' fly-half was successful off the tee just before the interval, but the Coventry outfit continued to enjoy themselves in the second half. Gopperth and Piutau went over in quick succession – the first coming after Alistair Hargreaves had been sin-binned – before the fly-half took the visitors beyond the 50 with a penalty from the restart.

Understandably, Wasps eased off slightly and that allowed Hamilton to wrestle his way across the whitewash, but there was still time for Robson to add to the embarrassment. Elliot Daly and Alex Lozowski then kicked long range three-pointers to complete an incredible afternoon.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Vunisa, Hamilton
Con: Hodgson 2
Pen: Hodgson 3

For Wasps:
Tries: Piutau 2, Young, Robson 2, Hughes 2, Gopperth
Con: Gopperth 6
Pen: Gopperth 2, Daly, Lozowski

Saracens: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves (c), 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Ben Ransom

Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith (c), 6 Thomas Young, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Cannon, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Alex Rieder, 21 Jamie Stevenson, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Rob Miller

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson, Craig Maxwell-Keys
TMO: Trevor Fisher