Planet Rugby

Wasps snuff out Quins

04th January 2009 17:58

Share:

Flutey Wasps Harlequins

On Song: Wasps centre Riki Flutey keeps the ball alive at Adams Park

Wasps resisted Harlequins' now-traditional fightback to record a hugely physical 24-18 victory over their London rivals at Adams Park on Sunday, thereby opening a welcomed gulf between themselves and the relegation zone.

Wasps coach Shaun Edwards had told his under-performing players that the next month will make or break their season and they hit Harlequins with a ferocious performance.

Wasps will need to stage one of their usual late-season rallies if they are to stand any chance of successfully defending their Premiership title or challenging for the Heineken Cup.

With an away trip to Bath and then European fixtures against Castres and Leinster to come later this month, Wasps will hope this win proves to be a watershed moment.

The victory, which moves them two places up the table, was built on a dominant first-half performance as Wasps opened a 21-3 lead with a try from winger Chris Bishay and a penalty try earned by their powerful pack.

Quins have built a reputation this season for staging dramatic late comebacks and they scored two second-half tries to rally from 21-3 down but in the end had to settle for a losing bonus point.

A quirk in England's elite player agreement may have allowed Harlequins to field both Nick Easter and Ugo Monye when Wasps, much to the frustration of Edwards, had to rest nine of their Test stars over the last fortnight.

Indeed, Paul Sackey was down to start against Quins but missed the game after an alleged 11th-hour intervention by England manager Martin Johnson.

But neither of the Quins duo lasted until the interval as Wasps, desperate to kick-start their stuttering season, completed a comprehensive first-half demolition job on their London rivals.

Wasps hit Quins with aggressive defence - led by James Haskell, man of the match Serge Betsen and Dominic Waldouck - as they made 72 tackles before the interval and missed just two, while Phil Vickery orchestrated the destruction of the Harlequins scrum.

Wasps raced into a 16-0 lead after 25 minutes with three Danny Cipriani penalties and a well-crafted try from academy winger Bishay, who held off two tacklers to score in the corner.

The move had been ignited by Waldouck's scything run through the middle before brilliant quick hands from Cipriani teed up Bishay to stretch over in the corner.

Nick Evans responded with a penalty for Harlequins but it was the briefest of respites for the visitors.

Aston Croall, a late replacement at loosehead for Ceri Jones, had been warned for wheeling the scrum on at least two occasions inside the first half hour before referee Sean Davey finally lost patience and awarded Wasps a penalty try.

The conversion opened Wasps a 21-3 lead. To add insult to injury, four minutes later Croall was sin-binned for killing the ball right under referee Davey's nose after Quins had been warned for repeated infringements at the breakdown.

Wasps did not take advantage of the extra man as Cipriani missed two penalties and, despite his side's dominance, the England fly-half did not enjoy a comfortable afternoon.

In front of England team manager Martin Johnson, Cipriani had two kicks charged down inside his own 22.

He successfully recovered the first to clear his own lines but the second, blocked by Evans as Quins sought a second-half lifeline, led directly to a try.

Wasps full-back Mark van Gisbergen touched down to concede the five-metre scrum and Croall enjoyed a moment of redemption as the Quins scrum earned a penalty try of their own.

Wasps then found themselves down to 14 men when Simon Shaw was sin-binned for tripping Care as the Quins scrum-half attempted to take a quick tap.

Unlike Wasps, Quins did manage to take maximum advantage of the extra man as Care scored a brilliant 45-metre solo try, breaking from the back of a Quins lineout and chipping Van Gisbergen to score near the posts. Evans missed the simple conversion.

Dave Walder - man of the match in four of Wasps' last six games - was given the job of steadying the ship and closing out the win in the last 15 minutes.

Wasps lost replacement flank Tom Rees to injury in the closing stages but it did not affect their momentum and a penalty from Walder pushed them nine points clear to seal the win.

But Quins secured a losing bonus-point with an injury-time penalty from Chris Malone.

The scorers:

For London Wasps:

Tries: Penalty Try, Bishay

Con: Cipriani

Pens: Cipriani 3

For Harlequins:

Tries: Penalty Try, Care

Con: Evans

Pens: Evans, Malone

Yellow card(s): Croall (Harlequins) - slowing the ball, 32; Shaw (Wasps) - not rolling away, 57.

The teams:

London Wasps: 15 Mark van Gisbergen, 14 Chris Bishay, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 James Haskell, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 Dan Leo, 5 George Skivington, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Phil Vickery (c), 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tom French.

Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Richard Birkett, 19 Tom Rees, 20 Joe Simpson, 21 Dave Walder, 22 Lachlan Mitchell.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Will Skinner, 6 Chris Robshaw (c), 5 George Robson, 4 James Percival, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Aston Croall.

Replacements: 16 Ceri Jones, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Jim Evans, 19 Tom Guest, 20 Andy Gomarsall, 21 Chris Malone, 22 De Wet Barry.

Referee: Sean Davey

Touch judges: Roger Baileff, Bruce Robertson

Television match official: John Burtenshaw, Geoff Warren

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
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
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
More Guinness PRO12 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
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga 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
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820