Planet Rugby

Wasps squeeze out a draw in Bristol

22nd December 2007 16:55

Share:

Danny Cipriani v Matt Salter

Stalemate: No way thorugh for Danny Cipriani

Wasps and Bristol shared the spoils in the Guinness Premiership on Saturday in an action-packed 23-23 draw at the Memorial Ground.

Bristol may be kicking themselves after having the better of the game, and substitute fly-half Ed Barnes missed a simple conversion which could have made the difference.

But Barnes did atone for his error by landing a 40m penalty to tie the scores with six minutes to go, after Wasps had taken the lead with a penalty try having squeezed the life out of the home team's tight five.

Wasps had earlier been rocked by a three-try blast from Bristol brothers Tom and Luke Arscott.

Wing Tom capitalised on two defensive howlers by Wasps full-back Mark Van Gisbergen, who was substituted midway through the second half, then Luke crossed to put Bristol 20-13 clear.

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani - looking every bit a future England international - kept his team in the contest by booting 13 points, including conversions of an Eoin Reddan touchdown and the penalty try.

Wasps, languishing in the Premiership's bottom third after losing several league games during the World Cup, now desperately need victories in successive home matches against Bath and Leeds Carnegie.

Bristol though, continue to prove tough nuts on home soil, boasting an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions stretching back to mid-September.

And Bristol maintained that record despite going into battle without injured trio Shaun Perry (windpipe), David Blaney (broken leg) and Dan Ward-Smith (broken hand), who all underwent surgery this week.

There was further misery before the kick-off when wing David Lemi withdrew because of a foot injury, which meant Anthony Elliott making his Premiership debut in Bristol colours.

Wasps boss Ian McGeechan, meanwhile, rested Lawrence Dallaglio and George Skivington following the rigours of back-to-back Heineken Cup games against Clermont Auvergne, while hooker Raphael Ibanez dropped off the bench after failing a late fitness test.

Wasps though, were quickly into their stride despite seeing England World Cup lock Simon Shaw sin-binned for a seventh-minute trip on Bristol scrum-half Brian O'Riordan.

Cipriani slotted an early penalty before Paul Sackey and Riki Flutey combined to open up Bristol's defence, allowing the supporting Reddan to scamper clear.

Cipriani converted, and the signs looked ominous for Bristol, but Van Gisbergen's amateurish defending allowed them back into the game.

His first blunder - a one-on-one missed tackle just inside the Wasps 22 - allowed Arscott to sprint over, but Van Gisbergen's afternoon further deteriorated just 10 minutes later.

Arscott launched a speculative kick from deep inside his own 22, and all Van Gisbergen had to do was shepherd the ball into touch, yet he was caught napping by the chasing Arscott, who hacked clear and touched down.

Jason Strange added a second successful conversion, and although Cipriani edged Wasps back in front when he booted a 29th-minute penalty, Strange restored Bristol's two-point advantage just before the break.

The first-half ended though, with both front-rows squaring up to each other, confirming a powder-keg undercurrent that had earlier seen Flutey and Bristol skipper Matt Salter engaged in a midfield disagreement.

Bristol lost Strange six minutes into the second period when he was late-tackled by Wasps hooker Rob Webber, yet he escaped a card as Strange left the action clutching his ribs.

Tom Arscott and England star Josh Lewsey were then involved in a dust-up before Small yellow-carded Shaw's second-row partner Richard Birkett for a swinging arm on Salter.

Salter unquestionably made a meal of the incident, but Small was in danger of losing control as Bristol camped inside Wasps' 22.

Bristol sensed another score, and this time they didn't need to rely on a Van Gisbergen gift after concerted forward pressure resulted in Luke Arscott touching down.

Barnes, on for Strange, missed a simple conversion attempt, and Cipriani brought the visitors back to within four points when he completed his penalty hat-trick.

It gave Wasps extra determination to turn the screw, and they gained a 74th-minute penalty try following several scrums within touching distance of Bristol's line.

Small's patience with the Bristol front-row finally snapped when they pulled down a scrum, and Cipriani's conversion edged Wasps three points ahead.

But Barnes came up trumps when it mattered, landing an equalising penalty that denied Wasps the win.

The scorers:

For Bristol:

Tries: Tom Arscott 2, Luke Arscott

Con: Strange

Pens: Strange, Barnes

For Wasps:

Tries: Reddan, penalty try

Cons: Cipriani 2

Pens: Cipriani 3

Yellow card: Shaw (Wasps, 7, tripping), Birkett (Wasps, 47, punching)

Bristol: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 Neil Brew, 11 Anthony Elliott, 10 Jason Strange, 9 Brian O'Riordan, 8 Andrew Blowers, 7 Alfie To'oala, 6 Matt Salter (c), 5 Sean Hohneck, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Jason Hobson, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Alex Clarke.

Replacements: 16 Scott Linklater, 17 Darren Crompton, 18 Dave Attwood, 19 Joe El Abd, 20 Haydn Thomas, 21 Ed Barnes, 22 Sam Cox.

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Josh Lewsey, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Eoin Reddan (c), 8 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees, 6 Dan Leo, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Nick Adams, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 Raphaël Ibañez 17 Tom French 18 Tom Palmer 19 James Haskell 20 Mark McMillan 21 Dave Walder 22 Tom Voyce.

Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820