Planet Rugby

Wasps muscle past Bath

27th November 2010 19:26

Share:

Joe Worsley

Worsley: Ever present

Fly-half Dave Walder set up a try for Tom Varndell and kicked a penalty in each half to earn Wasps a precious victory against misfiring Bath.

Crowds hover around the 12,000 mark at the Recreation Ground but the West Country side still cannot manage a Premiership victory on their own turf.

Their second home defeat in six days, following a tame display against Saracens last Sunday, kept them firmly in the bottom half of the table as Wasps leapfrogged Exeter Chiefs into sixth place.

Bath head coach Steve Meehan gave Academy flanker Guy Mercer his first Premiership start in the continued absence of England captain Lewis Moody and injured club skipper Luke Watson. Aaron Jarvis also came in at tighthead while Jack Cuthbert returned from Scotland A duty at outside centre.

Wasps, buoyed by their win over London Irish last weekend, were without lock Simon Shaw, restored to the England squad for the final autumn international against South Africa. Serge Betsen stepped up into the back row with Tom Rees on the bench and surrendering the captaincy to Ben Jacobs.

The Rec pitch was in perfect condition after being covered since Wednesday afternoon but snow still decorated the hills around Bath.

In a scoreless but hectic first quarter Bath posed the greater attacking threat but without the precision to carve out any clear-cut chances against a well-organised Wasps defence.

When they were forced on to the defensive themselves, Olly Barkley just scrambled back to clear a reckless pass. His kick only found Richard Haughton and the Wasps wing was eventually hauled down by Cuthbert, who came to the rescue again moments later as Walder threatened to score.

Wasps began to look more threatening by the minute and when Bath infringed at a ruck in front of the posts, Walder chipped over the penalty to open the scoring on 20 minutes. A second effort shortly afterwards missed from longer range.

On the half-hour, Jacobs' inside pass put Steve Kefu through a gap but Varndell was unable to finish in the corner. Kefu was close himself a couple of minutes later but it was a simple chip over the top by Walder that eventually unlocked the Bath defence in the 33rd minute, Varndell touching down virtually unopposed. Walder's conversion was unsuccessful.

Barkley was wide from halfway with his first penalty attempt and Bath mounted another prolonged assault on the Wasps line until the ball was spilled yet again to end the half.

Mercer collected Walder's second-half restart and burst away on a 50-metre run only to lose the ball in contact, and when Wasps lock Marty Veale found a gap, he ran straight into Nick Abendanon.

Bath began to find some pace and rhythm and Barkley kicked a 50th-minute penalty from wide out on the right as Wasps were forced to infringe at a ruck. That was also a signal to replace all but one of the home front five, allowing Peter Short to make his first Premiership appearance of the season after knee surgery.

For a time the penalty count began to tip in Bath's favour and Wasps found themselves defending a five-metre scrum after Bath spurned the kick. When referee Dean Richards' arm went up yet again, Barkley landed a 65th-minute penalty.

But six minutes later Ben Skirving was penalised for hanging off a scrum and Walder restored Wasps' five-point lead, leaving Bath vainly searching for a way through the visitors' unyielding defence.

The scorers:

For Bath:

Pens: Barkley (2)

For Wasps:
Tries: Varndell
Pens: Walder (2)

Yellow cards:

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Nick Scott, 13 Jack Cuthbert, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens (C), 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Barnes, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Peter Short, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Jacques Boussuge.

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Ben Jacobs (C), 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 James Cannon, 4 Marty Veale, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Shaun Ruwers, 18 Jason Hobson, 19 Will Matthews, 20 Tom Rees, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Seb Jewell, 23 Elliot Daly,

Date: Saturday, November 27
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Dean Richards

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
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
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
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
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
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615