Planet Rugby

Falcons no match for Wasps

25th November 2007 16:47

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Riki Flutey Wasps

Merry Tune: Wasps centre Riki Flutey runs in the first try of the game

Newcastle Falcons fell foul of ever-improving Wasps at Adam Park on Sunday, conceding five tries on route to a painful 35-12 defeat in the Guinness Premiership.

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani and England wing Paul Sackey scored two tries each as Wasps continued their post-World Cup resurgence by bringing their European winning form back to the league.

Cipriani, who narrowly missed out on England's World Cup squad, inspired the victory with a man-of-the-match performance.

As well as scoring two tries, Cipriani had a hand in Wasps' other three touchdowns and also kicked two penalties and two conversions for a personal contribution of 20 points.

Newcastle replied with tries from prop forwards Jon Golding and Dave Wilson, but their fly-half Steve Jones could manage only one conversion from four kicks at goal.

Wasps, looking to make up for lost time after winning just one of their opening six Premiership matches while deprived of a host of World Cup players, made it four wins in a row after overcoming Gloucester 29-26 in the EDF Energy Cup, Munster 24-23 and Llanelli Scarlets 33-17, both in Heineken Cup pool matches.

Newcastle, without England stars Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood who hope to have recovered from their ankle injuries in time for Saturday's repeat fixture between the two sides on the same ground in the EDF Cup, were rarely in contention.

Jones squandered two kickable penalties - one from 25 metres out in front of the posts - before his opposite number Cipriani, who had also missed his first attempt, kicked Wasps ahead with penalties in the 30th and 34th minutes.

Wasps quickly stung Newcastle with two superbly worked tries and the match was effectively over as a contest by half-time, with the Wycombe-based side 18-0 ahead.

Cipriani's perfectly timed pass sent Kiwi centre Riki Flutey jinking through the Newcastle defence in the 37th minute.

Three minutes later the youngster and Flutey again showed fast hands to unleash Sackey on a run to the line.

Newcastle secured a glimmer of hope early in the second half when Golding drove over from close range for their opening try, converted by Jones, but it was short-lived.

Wasps introduced England stars Simon Shaw and Josh Lewsey, who missed the World Cup final with a hamstring injury, early in the second half and Lewsey's first determined run set up an attack which ended with Cipriani crashing over for a 57th-minute try.

Former England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio joined the fray after Wilson forced his way over for Newcastle's second try in the 62nd minute and only a last-ditch diving tackle on Tom Visser by Lewsey prevented the visitors from scoring again.

Their hopes were finally ended when Wilson was dispatched to the sin-bin for the last 10 minutes by referee Martin Fox for swinging a punch which failed to connect.

Lewsey inspired the fourth Wasps try, which secured them a bonus point in the 74th minute.

Catching a kick, he turned inside two men, made a break and found Cipriani who threw a long pass to present Sackey with his second try in the right-hand corner.

Fittingly, Cipriani had the final say, underlining his claim for a place in England's Six Nations squad, with his second try in the final minute.

The scorers:

For London Wasps:

Tries: Flutey, Sackey 2, Cipriani 2

Cons: Cipriani 2

Pens: Cipriani 2

For Newcastle Falcons:

Tries: Golding, Wilson

Cons: Jones

London Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Eoin Reddan (c), 8 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees, 6 James Haskell, 5 George Skivington, 4 Richard Birkett, 3 Nick Adams, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Michael Holford, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Lawrence Dallaglio, 20 Simon Amor, 21 Josh Lewsey, 22 Dan Leo.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom May, 14 Ollie Phillips, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Jamie Noon, 11 John Rudd, 10 Steve Jones, 9 James Grindal, 8 Phil Dowson (captain), 7 Ben Woods, 6 Geoff Parling, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Andy Perry, 3 David Wilson, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jon Golding

Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Joe McDonnell, 18 Sean Tomes, 19 Eni Gesinde, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Tim Visser, 22 Tom Dillon

Referee: Martin Fox

Touch judges: Andy Watson, David Kurk

Assessor: Gary Welsh

Television match official: Brian Abrahams

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