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
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00