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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954