Wasps steal it at the death

Date published: April 9 2017

Wasps scored a try at the death to claim a 32-30 victory over the Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

The visitors looked dominant throughout and looked as though they had the game in the bag before Matt Mullan was pushed over the line through a maul.

Wasps extend their lead at the top of the table after the win while Saints stay at seventh place.

Northampton got an early lead on their rivals after a 12 minute try from Ben Foden with Stephen Myler neatly knocking over a penalty just beforehand.

Wasps would be out to rock the boat quickly though as Elliot Daly scored after using his searing pace to get over the line for his side with New Zealander Jimmy Gopperth adding the extras to catch up to the leaders making the score 8-7.

Saints would then pull the scoreline away from the hosts after Alex Waller scored another which was a blow for Wasps who were confident after crossing the whitewash.

Myler missed the conversion which would prove costly to the visitor's lead with Gopperth knocking over two successive penalties making the score 13-13 all, the first time the score had come so close in the game.

Saints would go into the lead at half time after some clever play sent flyer George North over in the corner making the half-time score 18-13.

Wasps got out of the blocks first in the second half after a break from Ashley Johnson led to the ball being swung down field to the ever-industrious Christian Wade who chipped the ball over the defence, the bounce favoured him and the winger dotted down equaling the score before Gopperth took his side into the lead for first time. And then again when Joe Simpson scored with Gopperth kicking the conversion.

The Saints closed the gap on the Wasps after they took the ball to the line and after swinging wide to North who passed to full-back Ahsee Tuala who dotted down in the corner. 

Saints flanker Teimana Harrison then grabbed the lead after he received a short pass from off the shoulder of his inside man and went over under the posts.

It didn't take long for Wasps to get back in the game after they used some great handling to swing the ball wide before Kurtley Beale gave off a great pop pass for Willie le Roux to score. But the try was called off after the referee deemed it was a forward pass.

Wasps snatched the game at the death though after sustained pressure from the hosts resulted in Mullan barging over in a maul with Gopperth winning the game with a conversion in the 82nd minute.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Daly, Wade, Simpson, Mullan
Cons: Gopperth 3
Pens: Gopperth 2

For Northampton Saints:
Foden, North, Tuala, Harrison
Con: Myler
Pen: Myler

Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Kurtley Beale , 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, , 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse,17 Tom Bristow,18 Paul Doran Jones,19 Matt Symons,20 Nathan Hughes,21 Dan Robson,22 Danny Cipriani,23 Alapati Leiua

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 George North, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 Ben Foden , 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Tom Wood (c), 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 David Ribbans, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Ken Pisi

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Greg M Garner, Jack Makepeace
TMO: David Grashoff