Dave Walder kicked Wasps to a 12-3 victory over Bayonne on Thursday which carried them closer to the Amlin Challenge Cup quarters.
Dave Walder kicked Wasps to a 12-3 victory over Bayonne on Thursday which carried them closer to an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final.
Wasps' two victories over French side Bayonne – they also beat them 22-18 at home last weekend – ensured they have a seven-point lead over Bayonne at the top of Pool 4 with games against Rugby Roma and Racing-Metro to come in the new year.
Walder kicked two penalties in the first half and then wrapped up proceedings with a drop goal and third penalty in the closing 15 minutes. He also missed with another two penalty attempts.
But while the outside-half took the plaudits, it was the Wasps front five that laid the foundations for a 13th straight win in the tournament for the Londoners. They dominated the scrums and crucially won a string of penalties to frustrate the home side.
The visitors also had to win the hard way as they played with 14 men for 20 minutes. Skipper Serge Betsen was the first to go to the sin-bin just before half-time and then George Skivington followed for using his knee at a ruck in the second half.
Even so, Wasps never took a backward step in the forward exchanges and their overall defensive effort strangled the life out of every Bayonne attack.
Italian outside-half Craig Gower and replacement full-back Manny Edmonds tried to inject some life into the home side's attacks, but they never found the cutting edge required to hurt Wasps.
The only points Bayonne could manage came from the boot of Spanish international scrum-half Cedric Garcia, although he was wide with another attempt as was his half-back partner Gower.
Walder's success with the boot – he also scored 12 points in last weekend's victory at Adams Park – meant the fit-again Danny Cipriani did not get a chance to come off the bench and continue his comeback from injury.
It was the second time the 22-year-old, who has just recovered from a hairline fracture of his right fibula suffered at Northampton in October, had been included among the replacements. Once again he failed to get on.
In the evening's other match, Bourgoin had little trouble seeing off Parma 31-10 at the Stade Pierre-Rajon.
The French racked up three tries in the first 20 minutes, but it took them until minute 67 to score the bonus point try through Jean-Baptiste Coux.
Pens: Walder 3
Drop goal: Walder
Bayonne: 15 Jean-Baptiste Peyras, 14 Pepito Elhorga (c), 13 Thibault Lacroix, 12 Sam Gerber, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Craig Gower, 9 Cedric Garcia, 8 Julien Puricelli, 7 Remy Martin, 6 Jean-Joseph Marmouyet, 5 Nicolas Laffite, 4 Rob Linde, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Arnaud Heguy, 17 Aretz Iguiniz, 18 Ross Filipo, 19 Jacques Deen, 20 Mickael Lopez-Herrero, 21 Manny Edmonds, 22 Vincent Inigo, 23 Denis Avril.
Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Serge Betsen (capt), 6 John Hart, 5 George Skivington, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Gabriel Bocca, 18 Martin Rice, 19 Richard Birkett, 20 Will Matthews, 21 Mark Robinson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Steve Kefu.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Carvill (Ireland), Barry O'Keeffe (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)