Wasps hit Zebre for 80

Date published: October 15 2016

Wasps showed Zebre no mercy with an impressive 12-try demolition at the Ricoh Arena in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

The Midlanders controlled the game from the kick-off and took a 21-0 lead through Rob Miller, Jake Cooper-Woolley and Joe Simpson tries.

Federico Ruzza did get the visitors on the scoreboard but two more scores by Miller and Frank Halai gave the home side a comfortable buffer.

Ruzza was on target for the second time with an interception but Ashley Johnson went over at the end of the first half as the Premiership team moved 42-14 clear at the interval.

With the bonus-point triumph secured, Wasps enjoyed the freedom they were afforded in the second period.

The Coventry-based club added six more tries with Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Josh Bassett, Simpson, James Gaskell and Dan Robson all crossing the whitewash.

The Italian outfit have endured another disappointing start to the campaign, losing all five of their PRO12 games so far, and the opening to this encounter showed why.

By the 10-minute mark, the victory was effectively sealed as Dai Young’s men opened up a 14-point buffer. Miller scored the first, taking advantage of good work by Kyle Eastmond and Nathan Hughes, before Cooper-Woolley touched down from close range. Cipriani converted both and then added the extras to a third try when Simpson latched onto the fly-half's deft offload.

Zebre number eight Andries van Schalkwyk was also serving 10 minutes off the field for a dangerous tackle on Launchbury and it was proving to be all too easy for the hosts.

But to the visitors’ credit, they battled back and reduced the arrears despite being down to 14 players when a driving maul resulted in Ruzza going over.

Normal service was soon resumed, however, through Miller’'s second touchdown after Halai’'s excellent pick up and pass allowed the full-back to cross.

A fifth try followed via the New Zealand wing before Ruzza and Johnson traded scores at the end of the first half.

The wave of Wasps’ attacks continued after the break and Daly was the first to capitalise on further lapses in concentration by the Italian outfit.

Carlo Festuccia then received a yellow card and Launchbury benefited from the sin-binning by touching down.

Zebre were struggling to even reach the hosts’ 22 and further scores by Bassett, Simpson, Gaskell and Robson completed an embarrassing day for Gianluca Guidi’'s men.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Miller 2, Cooper-Woolley, Simpson 2, Halai, Johnson, Daly, Launchbury, Bassett, Gaskell, Robson
Cons: Cipriani 6, Gopperth 5

For Zebre:
Tries: Ruzza 2
Cons: Padovani 2
Yellow Cards: Van Schalkwyk, Festuccia

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Alapati Leiua

Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Gabriele Di Giulio, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giambattista Venditti, 10 Edoardo Padovani, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Josh Furno, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Bruno Postiglioni
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Tommy Castello, 23 Carlo Canna

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Eddie Hogan O'Connell (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)