Planet Rugby

Wasps sneak past brave Bristol

22nd March 2009 17:19

Share:

Wasps v Northampton Danny Cipriani 2

Blunt: Danny Cipriani is still suffering from ankle problems

London Wasps pushed Bristol to the brink of Guinness Premiership relegation with a 21-19 victory at Adams Park on Sunday, but the reigning champions failed to convince with a haphazard display.

The form book appeared to offer a clear indication - Wasps last tasted defeat at Adams Park in November, while Bristol have not won away in the Premiership all season - but Bristol, who will now have their relegation confirmed if they lose at home to Worcester next week, did not play at all like a team without hope. Indeed, they won the try count 2-1.

Wasps started with intent, camped on the Bristol line for five of the first eight minutes, but eventually had to settle for a Danny Cipriani penalty to open the scoring after valiant Bristol defence.

Bristol, coming into the match off eight straight defeats, steadied themselves and made some inroads into Wasps territory before a piece of David Lemi magic produced the first try in the 22nd minute for the visitors. The diminutive Samoan speedster combined with former England scrum-half Shaun Perry to outflank Wasps on the blindside and scoot unchallenged to the line from 25 metres out.

Ed Barnes missed the conversion and shortly afterwards Cipriani restored Wasps' lead with his second penalty.

The rock-bottom west country side were undeterred, as Wasps struggled to impose themselves. Lemi again caused confusion around the Wasps 22 and, following swift recycling, powerful wing Lee Robinson strode into the corner. Barnes converted and, with half an hour gone, Bristol had a 12-6 lead.

There was a lack of accuracy and co-ordination in most things that a Wasps side again shorn of a host of internationals attempted, typified by a horrendously-scuffed penalty attempt by Cipriani.

A darting Mark van Gisbergen break ended with veteran Bristol lock Roy Winters killing the ball on the floor and being sent to the sin-bin.

Cipriani made up for his previous blooper to reduce Wasps' arrears to three points at the break.

Cipriani failed to appear for the second half due to a recurrence of his ankle problems, replaced by Dave Walder, whose drop goal won this fixture for Wasps last season.

The former Newcastle man was denied a try after a Van Gisbergen fumble messed up a clear overlap. Bristol had survived intact at the end of the sin-bin.

With head coach Shaun Edwards a brooding presence on the touchline, Wasps eventually broke through the dogged Bristol defence just before the hour mark. Dominic Waldouck's initial thrust and superb continuity by debutant prop Bob Baker created the room for Lachlan Mitchell to score in the corner.

Walder's excellent conversion made it 16-12 but Wasps failed to push on, as the match meandered towards the closing 10 minutes.

Waldouck and Lewsey almost conjured a second Wasps try but again the finish was lacking, while George Skivington and Eoin Reddan both knocked on with the line gaping.

Youngster Charlie Beech's try appeared to provide clear water at last for Wasps, but back Bristol came through a second Robinson try and Barnes conversion to give the home crowd an edgy finish.

The scorers:

For London Wasps:

Tries: Mitchell, Beech

Con: Walder

Pens: Cipriani 3

For Bristol:

Tries: Lemi, Robinson 2

Cons: Barnes 2

Yellow card(s): Winters (Bristol), 39

The teams:

London Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Josh Lewsey, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees/Dan Leo, 6 Serge Betsen (C), 5 George Skivington, 4 Richard Birkett, 3 Pat Barnard, 2 Rob Webber , 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Marty Veale , 19 Dan Leo/Hugo Ellis, 20 Mark Robinson, 21 Dave Walder 22 Mark Odejobi.

Bristol: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Lee Robinson, 13 Neil Brew, 12 Junior Fatialofa, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ed Barnes, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Joe El Abd (capt), 6 Redford Pennycook, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Darren Crompton, 2 Scott Linklater, 1 Mark Irish.

Replacements: 16 Ollie Hayes, 17 Wayne Thompson, 18 Mariano Sambucetti, 19 Dan Ward-Smith, 20 Haydn Thomas, 21 Greg Barden, 22 Tom Arscott.

Referee: Martin Fox

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
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
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
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
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada 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
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors 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
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821