Planet Rugby

Vital win for Wasps

17th February 2013 15:08

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Wasps v Gloucester Christian Wade

Try-scorer: Christian Wade

Wasps cemented their top four spot with an enthralling 33-29 Aviva Premiership win over Gloucester at Adams Park on Sunday.

Two late Gloucester tries earned them a losing bonus point, and led to nervous final phases for Wasps, but the home side clung on for the win, after they had surged well ahead during the second period.

Gloucester arrived at Adams Park buoyed by their win last week at Northampton, and looked to upset Wasps' claims to fourth spot in the Premiership.

Nigel Davies kept faith in the side which had done so well at Franklin's Gardens. Wasps however, were unbeaten at home this season, and boss Dai Young had looked to keep that run going, as the race for the play-off spots heated up.

Young's side have turned around the disappointment of last season to mount a concerted attack on the Aviva Premiership leading group, and after today's win, have dented Glouceter's aims of entering the play-off quartet.

A bright opening by both sides saw Gloucester take a deserved lead as Dan Robson opened the scoring with his first league try for Gloucester, after a great run by Akapusi Qera.

Stephen Jones, returning to the Wasps side at fly-half, took the chance to reduce the gap with a penalty goal, taken well from distance.

Not to be outdone, Ashley Johnson also produced his first try for Wasps, earning his side the lead from a great drive from a line-out maul, a decision that had gone to the TMO.

Gloucester restored parity on half an hour from Cook's penalty goal, as the Cherry and Whites put the Wasps defence under pressure.

Cook missed the chance to give Gloucester the lead minutes before the break with an unlikely attempt from 60 metres, but Jones had no such problem with a penalty in the last play of the half to put the home side back in front at the break by 13-10.

Cook opened the second half as he ended the first, missing a penalty goal attempt, but his captain Mike Tindall took a great line to put his side back in the lead.

Christian Wade took the lead for the home side with a great run down his wing after Billy Vunipola set him off, before the number eight got his second try of the season with a pick and drive for a lead which Gloucester couldn't fully recover.

Ryan Mills and Charlie Sharples pegged back two tries late on, but it was to be Wasps' who earned the winning plaudits in a very entertaining game.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Johnson, Vunipola, Wade
Cons: SM Jones 2, Robinson
Pens: SM Jones 3, Robinson

For Gloucester:
Tries: Mills, Robson, Sharples, Tindall
Cons: Cook 2, Tindall
Pens: Cook

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Christian Wade, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Alex Rae, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Elliot Daly.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Jonny May, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Shane Monahan, 23 Martyn Thomas.

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