Wasps round off pre season with a win against Bristol

Wasps completed their pre-season programme with a hard-fought win over newly promoted Bristol, in what was truly a game of two halves.

9 - 19
Bristol Rugby Wasps

Sat 27th August 2016
2:30 pm

Clifton RFC Stadium Preseason Friendly

Their first-half performance was punctuated by penalties and turnovers in greasy conditions, and they trailed 9-0 at the break. The second half was a different matter altogether, with three  unanswered tries and the crucial score coming in the last minute, to seal the victory.

The home side went ahead after two minutes when Gavin Henson landed a penalty following a breakdown offence just outside the Wasps 22. The flyhalf was again on target five minutes later, after Wasps conceded another breakdown penalty 30 metres out.

Wasps had their first attacking opportunity when a penalty to the corner gave them a close-range lineout, but they committed an offence as they drove for the line.

With a series of penalties going against them, Wasps were struggling to find any momentum, but Joe Launchbury  then won two turnovers to get them going forwards. The Wasps skipper then featured  prominently in a move which created an overlap on the right, only for the opportunity to be spurned, when a pass went well forward. Gaskell then collected a short pass from Jimmy Gopperth to go through a gap, but his pass to Phil Swainston didn’t stick.

The game was being marred by problems at the scrum and it wasn’t until nearly half an hour had gone that the first scrum was successfully completed. Wasps then produced a fine counter-attacking move, which sent Josh Bassett clear on the left. As he crossed the Bristol 10-metre line he had Rob Miller on his  inside, but a last-ditch ankle tap sent him stumbling and he couldn’t quite deliver what might have been a scoring pass.

Two minutes before halftime, Gavin Henson was off target with an attempted drop goal from 30 metres thanks to intense pressure from Joe Launchbury, on the charge to block his attempt. A minute later, he sent a towering kick downfield and Wasps were caught offside, 30 metres out, 15 metres in from the left touchline.  He made no mistake with the penalty to stretch his side’s lead to 9-0.

After two penalties to the corner had given them an attacking platform, Wasps spent the closing moments before the break  hammering away at the Bristol line. They  came close on several occasions, but were unable to breach the defence and eventually conceded a penalty in the left corner, to bring a frustrating end to an untidy half.

Wasps made no further changes for the start of the second half. Four minutes after the restart, they were finally on the scoreboard after a Henson clearance bounced their way, just inside the Bristol half. Joe Launchbury gathered and fed Guy Thompson, who came storming through a gap at speed, before finding Nathan Hughes. The number 8 had the pace and strength to go over from the 22. Gopperth added the extra points to narrow the gap to 9-7.

Wasps went ahead for the first time after 54 minutes, when Elliot Daly  sliced through the defence before sending Josh Bassett over for an excellent try, which was converted by Danny Cipriani.

By now, both sides had made extensive changes and it was the home side who produced some of the more threatening moments, with some excellent offloading from forwards and backs. Wasps spent several minutes near their line, before a scrum penalty inside the 22 gave them the chance to clear to near halfway.

From the resulting lineout, Danny Cipriani’s long diagonal kick rolled into touch at the left corner. Wasps stole the Bristol throw and a series of drives took them close to a match-winning score, before possession was lost, just short of the line. They kept up the pressure and made the game safe in the last minute, when Guy Thompson went over in the left corner following a well-controlled driving lineout. Cipriani missed the touchline conversion, leaving the final score 19-9.






Bristol Rugby Line ups

  1. Soane Tonga'uiha
  2. Ross McMillan
  3. Gaston Cortes
  4. James Phillips
  5. Ben Glynn
  6. Jon Fisher
  7. Jack Lam
  8. Jordan Crane
  9. Rhodri Williams
  10. Gavin Henson
  11. Tom Varndell
  12. Ben Mosses
  13. Will Hurrell
  14. Ryan Edwards
  15. Jordan Williams
  16. Marc Jones
  17. Kyle Traynor
  18. Anthony Perenise
  19. Ian Evans
  20. Joe Joyce
  21. Oliver Robinson
  22. Mitch Eadie
  23. Adrian Jarvis
  24. Thretton Palamo
  25. Charlie Amesbury
  26. Martin Roberts

Wasps Line ups

  1. Matt Mullan
  2. Tommy Taylor
  3. Phil Swainston
  4. Joe Launchbury
  5. James Gaskell
  6. Sam Jones
  7. Guy Thompson
  8. Nathan Hughes
  9. Joe Simpson
  10. Jimmy Gopperth
  11. Josh Bassett
  12. Nick De Luca
  13. Elliot Daly
  14. Frank Halai
  15. Rob Miller
  16. Ashley Johnson
  17. Will Rowlands
  18. Simon McIntyre
  19. Tom Cruse
  20. Alex Rieder
  21. Dan Robson
  22. Danny Cipriani
  23. Christian Wade
  24. Brendan Macken
  25. Owain James
  26. Matt Symons
  27. Will Stuart