Planet Rugby

Wasps back in the hunt

23rd February 2008 18:15

Share:

Dominici Waldouck try v Bristol

Here we go! Dominic Waldouck scoots over for Wasps' first

Wasps resurrected their play-off hopes in the nick of time with a thrilling 32-30 Guinness Premiership victory over Bristol at Adams Park on Saturday.

fter eight minutes of added time Bristol led 30-25 but were repeatedly penalised close to their line and following a yellow card for Andrew Blowers, replacement scrum-half Mark McMillan dived over at the base of a scrum.

That brought the two teams level and Dave Walder, Danny Cipriani's deputy at stand-off, added the conversion with the very last kick to lift Wasps from eighth to sixth in the table and give coach Craig Dowd the victory he wanted in his final game before returning to New Zealand.

It was nail-biting stuff, each side scoring four tries and the visitors probably felt hard done by with Blowers thinking he had scored what would have been a clinching try after 74 minutes, but referee Ashley Rowden ruled he had dropped the ball on the line.

So much were Wasps depleted by international call-ups that McMillan had been put on the bench the day after playing some of Scotland A's match against Ireland.

Wasps began how they left off at Bath last week and after eight minutes were already 12-0 up.

Less than three minutes were on the clock when Tom Palmer's lineout take set up the attacking platform, and Bristol were simply cut apart by centre Dominic Waldouck's weaving 40-metre run to the line.

Right wing Mark van Gisbergen landed the easy conversion and the visitors were soon breached again. This time the ball moved along the line, full-back Josh Lewsey created an overlap and left wing David Doherty went over in the corner.

Having beaten leaders Gloucester last week it was a nightmare opening for Richard Hill's men, but an Ed Barnes penalty opened their account and in the 17th minute they cut the deficit to 12-8 against the run of play.

A kick downfield by wing David Lemi saw the bounce of the ball go against the Wasps cover back into the hands of Lemi and on for centre Rob Higgitt to score.

Worse was to come for last year's European champions after they lost flanker John Hart to injury.

Although van Gisbergen kicked a penalty and then pulled off a brilliant try-saving tackle on wing Anthony Elliott, the resultant scrum came back on the Bristol side, full-back Luke Arscott found captain Matt Salter and Elliott was unstoppable this time.

Barnes' conversion made it 15-15, which was how it remained at the break with van Gisbergen fluffing a relatively easy penalty with the last kick of the half.

Within three minutes of the restart Bristol went ahead for the first time thanks to another Barnes penalty. Back came Wasps, their pressure eventually telling with hooker Joe Ward making the final few yards for their third try.

Walder took over the kicking duties from van Gisbergen and slotted over the conversion, yet before the hour was up Bristol had scored two more tries and were, to the stunned silence of the home fans, 30-22 ahead.

Declining a kick at goal they had a lineout two yards out and hooker Scott Linklater touched down, then, once Barnes had added the conversion, Elliott went through again after Lewsey lost control of the ball at his feet and centre David Hill stole it.

But Walder's 71st-minute penalty brought Wasps back within one score and set up the gripping climax.

The scorers:

For London Wasps:

Tries: Waldouck, Doherty, Ward, McMillan

Cons: Van Gisbergen, Walder 2

Pens: Van Gisbergen, Walder

For Bristol:

Tries: Higgitt, Elliott 2, Linklater

Cons: Barnes 2

Pens: Barnes 2

London Wasps: 15 Josh Lewsey, 14 Mark van Gisbergen, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 David Doherty, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Simon Amor, 8 Lawrence Dallaglio (c), 7 Joe Worsley, 6 John Hart, 5 Dan Leo, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Nick Adams, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 Raphaël Ibañez, 17 Tom French, 18 Matt Corker, 19 Rob Webber, 20 Mark McMillan, 21 Chris Bishay, 22 Jeremy Staunton.

Bristol: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Anthony Elliott, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 David Hill, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ed Barnes, 9 Brian O'Riordan, 8 Alfie Tooala, 7 Joe El Abd, 6 Matt Salter (c), 5 Sean Hohneck, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Darren Crompton, 2 Scott Linklater, 1 Alex Clarke,

Replacements: 16 Jason Hobson, 17 Ryan Prosser, 18 Gareth Llewellyn, 19 Andrew Blowers, 20 Graeme Beveridge, 21 Kevin Maggs, 22 Josh Taumalolo

Referee: Ashley Rowden

Touch judges: Andrew Pearce, Roger Baileff

Assessor: Paul Bridgman

Television match official: John Burtenshaw

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411