Wasps go top with win over Worcester

21st Sep 2009, 11:25

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On Target: Danny Cipriani bagged a brace of drop-goals

On Target: Danny Cipriani bagged a brace of drop-goals

Wasps reclaimed the summit of the Guinness Premiership table courtesy of a solid 23-3 win over Worcester Warriors at Adams Park.

Wasps reclaimed the summit of the Guinness Premiership table courtesy of a solid 23-3 win over Worcester Warriors at Adams Park on Sunday.

And it was Dominic Waldouck who made the most of an unexpected call-up to inspired the Londoners to their third win from three games.

The England Saxons centre, only included in the side this morning after Steve Kefu was ruled out with a groin injury, played a key role in both Wasps tries.

Serge Betsen touched down in the first half and Tom Varndell rounded off the victory in the last minute with his 50th Premiership try.

Danny Cipriani added 13 points with the boot as Wasps moved back above London rivals Saracens, the only other unbeaten club, on points difference.

Waldouck was named man of the match for a performance that would have caught the eye of England's coaches, who are searching for an inside centre following Riki Flutey's injury.

There was also a welcome return to action for Paul Sackey following the broken leg he suffered during the RBS 6 Nations, though he had little opportunity to press his own Test claims in a stodgy game of few openings.

What chances there were, were created by Wasps with Australian centre Ben Jacobs and Varndell both heavily involved in an enterprising opening.

Jacobs twice broke the Worcester defence with powerful runs, the first on to a delightful flat pass from Cipriani before Varndell left flanker Tom Wood standing with an electric break down the wing.

Wasps then twice spurned a penalty shot at goal in favour of the line-out but Worcester defended well, first keeping out George Skivington and then securing a turnover to clear their lines.

But Wasps continued to dominate and Waldouck raced on to a pass from Cipriani to carve his way through a giant gap in the Worcester defence.

Chris Latham caught Waldouck with a tap tackle but he popped the ball up for the marauding Betsen, who scored next to the posts and presented Cipriani with a simple conversion.

Latham attempted to spark a Worcester response with a glorious take under the high ball but the Warriors could not break Wasps down.

The first quarter of the second half was a cagey affair. Worcester fly-half Willie Walker, who had missed a first-half penalty, scuffed a drop-goal attempt but the Warriors threatened with little else.

Wasps could not get going either. Sackey was a virtual spectator until he combined with Varndell, who arrowed towards the line, after Cipriani had launched a swift attack.

Varndell was halted but Wasps drew the penalty and Cipriani picked himself up from the floor, having received treatment for a hip injury suffered in the move, to slot the points.

Cipriani took another blow later in the game but he continued and drilled two drop goals either side of a penalty from Walker to seal the victory for Wasps.

Varndell then applied the coup de grace in the final minute after Waldouck had launched a counter-attack and then angled his kick infield.

Varndell gathered and had a clear run for the line to score his fifth try in three games since moving from Leicester in the summer.

The scorers:

For London Wasps:
Tries: Betsen, Varndell
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Cipriani 2
Drops: Cipriani 2

For Worcester Warriors:
Pen: Walker

The teams:

London Wasps: 15 Lachlan Mitchell, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Serge Betsen (c), 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 George Skivington, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Dan Leo, 20 John Hart, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Dave Walder, 23 Dominic Waldouck.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Callum Black, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Adam Black, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 George Crook, 23 Rico Gear.

Referee: JP Doyle