Planet Rugby

Wasps keep Heineken hopes alive

05th April 2009 17:12

Share:

Saracens v Wasps Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani: Boot won the day

Twelve points from the boot of Danny Cipriani gave Wasps a dour 12-6 win over Newcastle on Sunday, keeping their slender hopes of making it to next season's Heineken Cup alive.

The high-profile 21-year-old fly-half, overlooked by England manager Martin Johnson for the RBS 6 Nations, landed three penalties and a sublime drop goal.

He was also instrumental in taking the sting out of a Newcastle side who had won seven of their previous eight Premiership matches.

The Falcons staged a revival in the second half which produced two penalties for fly-half Tom May but Wasps, playing their third match in eight days, hung on for victory as Newcastle piled forward in the closing minutes.

Cipriani's pinpoint tactical kicking into space behind the Newcastle defensive line constantly pegged the visitors back and the pressure told as they conceded a string of first-half penalties.

With Cipriani taking advantage, Wasps thwarted recently-revitalised Newcastle's hopes of their first win in eight visits to Adams Park.

Newcastle's solid defence deserved credit for limiting Wasps to only 12 points as they kept their try-line intact in the first half.

Cipriani kicked Wasps ahead when Newcastle were caught offside in front of their own posts in the eighth minute and added a second 14 minutes later.

The fly-half pulled a third penalty attempt wide in the 27th minute but took less than a minute to make amends, nonchalantly responding with his audacious drop goal from just inside his own half.

Newcastle were twice fortunate not to concede tries, first when Wasps skipper Tom Rees gratefully grabbed possession after Rob Vickers threw too long at a lineout and then when the ball rebounded to livewire scrum-half Mickey Young after his attempted clearance kick was charged down.

Wasps failed to capitalise on their dominance, spilling the ball as their forwards drove towards the line.

However, the Falcons conceded another penalty when number eight Adam Balding hung on to the ball as he was tackled trying to run it out of defence and Cipriani sent Wasps in with a 12-0 interval lead.

They made sure of extending their current run of home victories to nine matches in all competitions on the day long-serving former England utility back Josh Lewsey announced his retirement from top-class rugby at the end of the season.

Lewsey, who began in the centre but switched to the wing after Gloucester-bound Tom Voyce was injured in the first half, will certainly be missed on the strength of this performance.

He was always prepared to run the ball and contributed to the kicking game which kept the visitors on the back foot for long spells.

Cipriani continued to torment Newcastle in the second half and the visitors were lucky to escape when one high, teasing kick just eluded chasing winger Lachlan Mitchell.

Newcastle, making much more of an impression after the interval, finally opened their account when May, who had missed a first-half penalty, landed one in the 59th minute.

May struck again seven minutes later to cut the deficit to six points and Wasps were suddenly hanging on to their slender lead.

Wasps replacement prop Charlie Beech was fortunate to escape a late yellow card after blatantly body-checking Tom Visser as the Newcastle winger chased his own kick down the touchline.

The resulting penalty into touch set up a final surge by the visitors but, with an overlap outside him on the left, May knocked on and the chance of a late upset had been squandered.

The scorers:

For Wasps:

Pens: Cipriani 3

Drop goal: Cipriani

For Newcastle:

Pens: May 2

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Josh Lewsey, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Mark Robinson, 8 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees (capt), 6 James Haskell, 5 George Skivington, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Pat Barnard, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Richard Birkett, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Joe Simpson, 21 Lachlan Mitchell, 22 Jeremy Staunton.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tim Visser, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 John Rudd, 10 Tom May, 9 Micky Young, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Phil Dowson (capt), 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Micky Ward.

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 David Wilson, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Russell Winter, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Rob Miller, 22 Steve Jones.

Referee: Dean Richards

Touch judges: Roger Baileff, Greg Garner

Assessor: Tony Spreadbury

Television match official: Roy Marfleet

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615