London Wasps moved up to seventh in the Aviva Premiership after defeating London Welsh 29-19 at Adams Park on Sunday.
London Wasps moved up to seventh in the Aviva Premiership table after defeating league new-boys London Welsh 29-19 at Adams Park on Sunday.
Wasps opened up a 16-6 lead at half-time through Christian Wade and Tom Varndell tries, while Nicky Robinson and Lee Thomas added points from the boot. Welsh's first half response came through Gavin Henson's two three-pointers before Wade and Varndell went over again in the second period.
Phil Mackenzie and Franck Montanella touched down for the visitors and Gordon Ross kicked a late penalty, but it wasn't enough as Thomas prevented the opposition from gaining a losing bonus-point.
Against most people's expectations, Welsh sit comfortably above the 12th-placed side at the moment. However, they were facing a rejuvenated Wasps' outfit who could probably consider themselves unlucky to be in the bottom half of the table.
And the hosts showed the quality that they possess when Wade finished off a fine backline move. That lead was extended to 8-0 through a Robinson penalty before Henson reduced the arrears with one of his own.
In their wingers, the High Wycombe side have two of the most potent try-scorers in the league and that was evident once more when Varndell scampered over from long range.
But the visitors continued to battle and their fly-half's second three-pointer got them to within seven points.
It was Wasps who continued to control proceedings, though, and Thomas added a drop goal to give Dai Young's team a relatively comfortable 16-6 cushion at the interval.
The hosts were soon into their stride in the second half when Wade scored yet another superb touchdown, beating several defenders on his way to the line.
Mackenzie finished off a fine counter-attack for the Oxford-based outfit's first try, but Wasps kept their opponents at arm's length when Varndell crossed the whitewash for the second time.
Montanella then went over and Ross slotted a penalty to get the visitors to within seven, but Thomas kicked a three-pointer late on to seal the victory for the former champions.
For London Wasps:
Tries: Wade 2, Varndell 2
Pen: Robinson, Thomas
For London Welsh:
Tries: Mackenzie, Montanella
Pen: Henson 2, Ross
London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Zak Taulafo, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Phil Swainston, 18 Fabio Staibano, 19 James Cannon, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Elliot Daly.
London Welsh: 15 Tom Voyce, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Seb Jewell, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Jonathan Mills (c), 5 Matt Corker, 4 Martin Purdy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 James Lewis, 23. Joe Ajuwa.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Andrew Watson
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw