Planet Rugby

Wasps bag the maximum

19th December 2010 14:47

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Dave Walder Wasps

Walder: Lethal with the boot

Wasps kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes very much alive with a 38-10 win over the Dragons at Adams Park on Sunday.

The match had been locked at 3-3 at half-time before Wasps took control by running in four tries after the break to earn a bonus point.

Joe Ward, Mark van Gisbergen, Tom Varndell and Nic Berry all touched down as the Dragons faded badly in the second half.

Wasps pivot Dave Walder added 17 points with the boot as the Aviva Premiership side moved to the top of Pool Six.

They are now on 15 points, three clear of Toulouse, who play Glasgow on Tuesday in their weather-delayed clash.

A crowd of only 1,236 attended a match that was under threat until 10.15am on Sunday morning when the required medical support was secured after Bucks County had stated they would be unable to supply a paramedic team due to their need to service the local area.

Treacherous conditions around the ground failed to deter Wasps, who were able to stage the encounter thanks to the under-soil heating.

Wasps were forced into a late change to their starting XV, Will Matthews being promoted from the bench after number eight Andy Powell was ruled out by a thigh injury.

The opening 40 minutes were distinctly underwhelming and featured just a penalty for each side.

Conditions played their part in the unispiring fare - handling was tricky due to the melting snow - but both sides appeared intent on kicking away possession at every opportunity.

Matthew Jones capped an early spell of pressure from the visitors with a ninth-minute penalty.

Wasps were largely pinned back inside their own half, a rare foray downfield by Ben Jacobs ending with the centre chipping ahead and forcing the Dragons to scramble the ball away close to their own line.

Walder levelled matters up with a penalty of his own just before half-time and, whatever was said in the home dressing room during the break, worked a treat as the hosts came to life when play resumed.

Another Walder penalty edged Wasps in front for the first time before the fly-half's adventure created the game's opening try in the 49th minute.

He sidestepped his way through the Dragons' midfield defence and released David Lemi on his left, the winger being stopped just short of the line.

But the ball was quickly recycled, allowing hooker Ward to crash over from close range.

Wasps were now dominating possession and were rewarded again in the 65th minute when van Gisbergen applied the finishing touch in the right corner after the ball had been moved swiftly through the back division.

That score opened the floodgates, Varndell and replacement Berry going over in quick succession to secure the bonus point.

Walder converted all four of tries and Wasps' second-half effort was only slightly marred by the concession of a late try when Aled Brew crashed over late on for the Dragons, who have now lost all four of their games in this season's Heineken Cup.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Berry, van Gisbergen, Varndell, Ward
Cons: Walder 4
Pens: Walder 3

For Dragons:
Tries: AG Brew
Cons: M Jones
Pens: M Jones

Wasps: 15 Mark van Gisbergen, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Andy Powell, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 James Cannon, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Shaun Ruwers, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Marty Veale, 20 Will Matthews, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Riki Flutey, 23 Richard Haughton.

Dragons: 15 Will Harries, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Gethin Robinson, 18 Pat Palmer, 19 Robert Sidoli, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 James Leadbeater, 22 Nathan Brew, 23 Patrick Leach.

Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

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