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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00