Wasps hit the summit

Date published: December 30 2016

Wasps came from 12-0 down to beat Newcastle Falcons 34-30 with a bonus-point as they moved top of the Premiership standings on Friday.

Dean Richards' men came flying out of the blocks and opened the scoring in the second minute with a try from Sonatane Takulua after a great break from Alex Tait.

The Falcons kept up the high intensity and doubled their try count straight from kick off. A loose ball found Marcus Watson and the Olympic silver medalist turned on the afterburners to run in under the posts to give Newcastle a 12-0 lead after five minutes.

As the game hit 20 minutes, Wasps finally got off the mark. After a period of end to end to play the fall fell into the hands of Danny Cipriani. The England fly-half proceeded to execute a perfect chip over the Falcons defensive line and gather to dot down under the posts.

The visitors took the lead a few minutes later with their second try. A wonderful kick through from Dan Robson was chased down by Christian Wade who managed to touch the ball down for his 19th try in 2016.

The try-fest continued when Newcastle grabbed their third of the half. Strong forward play from the Falcons culminated with Rob Vickers powering over from close range.

A penalty from Joel Hodgson extended Newcastle's lead to eight points, but Wasps would have the last word. After a number of phases drifting across the pitch, a short pop pass from Robson found Thomas Young who peered over for Wasps' third try of the half. Cipriani added the extras to reduce the deficit to one point going into the break.

Wasps started the second-half as they finished the first with their bonus-point try. Jimmy Gopperth who replaced Cipriani at half-time, took advantage of an overlap to power over for the score.

Hodgson kicked his second penalty of the night for Falcons to bring them back within three. Gopperth responded almost immediately with a penalty of his own.

After a period of heavy pressure from Newcastle, Wasps wing Josh Bassett was shown yellow for a deliberate knock on. But, Wasps continued to extend their lead with a long range penalty from Elliot Daly.

As Newcastle pushed for their fourth try, Wasps? Guy Thompson was sent to the bin for disrupting the ball.

With two minutes left, Newcastle secured themselves two losing bonus points after a series of pick and go phases was finished off by Mark Wilson.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Tries: Takulua, Watson, Vickers, Wilson
Cons: Hodgson 2
Pens: Hodgson 2

For Wasps:
Tries: Cipriani, Wade, Young, Gopperth
Cons: Cipriani 3, Gopperth
Pens: Gopperth, Daly
Yellow Cards: Bassett (57 min), Thompson (76 min)

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Belisario Agulla, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Mark Wilson (c), 6 Ally Hogg, 5 Will Witty, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Ben Harris, 18 David Wilson, 19 Tyrone Holmes, 20 Will Welch, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Dominic Waldouck

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Thomas Young, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan (c)
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Alex Rieder, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Guy Armitage

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell, Greg MacDonald
TMO: Stuart Terheege