Planet Rugby

Wasps not safe just yet

21st April 2012 16:04

Share:

Michael Claassens

Michael Claassens: Led from the front

Bath saw off Wasps 17-12 at the Rec but the Londoners clawed back what could be a vital bonus point in the final relegation reckoning.

The first half was tight and tense as expected but the visitors were scrapping for their Premiership lives and that desire and hunger shone through.

The Wasps pack dominated their opposite numbers in the scrum and fly-half Nicky Robinson kicked almost impeccably, hitting the target with three penalties to put his team 9-0 ahead at the break.

Bath did threaten in the final seconds of the half, but just as Michael Claassens looked like he was about to score the game's opening try, 20-year-old full-back Jack Wallace stepped up to make a crucial tackle and preserve his side's nine-point lead.

The home side came out firing in the second half though after what was no doubt a rather frank team-talk and - after a period of concerted pressure - veteran hooker Lee Mears showed that he still has some pace left before touching down out wide.

Olly Barkley failed with the conversion but Wasps were firmly on the back foot and they ceded their slender advantage moments later as All Black fly-half Stephen Donald went over directly underneath the posts to give the home crowd something to cheer.

The relegation-threatened Londoners did eventually see some of the ball and create a couple of chances but the West Country outfit still looked more dangerous. And, as the match entered the last ten minutes, Nick Abendanon took advantage of an overlap created by the absence of Dominic Waldouck, who had been yellow-carded a few minutes earlier for handling on the floor, to make it 17-9 and put the visitors out of bonus point range.

But with five minutes remaining, the reliable Robinson kicked his fourth penalty of the afternoon to give Wasps that crucial bonus point that means Newcastle will almost certainly need to get a try bonus point as well as the win and deny the London outfit a losing bonus point in their encounter next week if they are to escape the drop.

Wasps had to survive a close video replay decision at the death as Sam Vesty went over but Tom Varndell was the hero, holding him up over the line, and the defence held out to secure what could be the deciding point in one of the most thrilling Premiership relegation battles in recent years.

Rugby Union betting odds

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Mears, Donald, Abendanon
Cons: Barkley

For Wasps:
Pens: Robinson 4

Yellow cards: Waldouck (Wasps)

Bath:15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Ben Skirving, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Flatman, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Kyle Eastmond.

Wasps: 15 Jack Wallace, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Richard Birkett (c), 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Zac Taulafo, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Chris Mayor, 23 Lee Robinson.

Referee: David Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00