Wasps lose tough encounter with Gloucester

Wasps suffered only their second defeat of the season, as they were well beaten by a Gloucester side which overturned the form books to record their first home win of the campaign.

36 - 18
Gloucester Rugby Wasps

Sat 19th November 2016
4:30 pm

Kingsholm Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened

Wasps trailed by only five points at half-time, after the home side dominated the first 40 minutes. A promising start to the second start saw Wasps inch ahead, but two tries in two minutes gave Gloucester a 13-point lead as the game entered the final quarter. Thomas Young’s late try, his second of the match, gave Wasps hope, but breakaway scores by Charlie Sharples and Henry Purdy gave the Cherry and Whites a well-deserved and convincing victory.

The opening few minutes were played at a hectic pace, but with little precision. After four minutes, a long Gloucester throw went astray on the Wasps 22. Wasps gathered and moved the ball quickly out to the left, where Josh Bassett made a few metres. Quick ball was moved back infield but Wasps were penalised five metres inside their own half. James Hook went for goal and his kick had just enough to drop over the bar and open the scoring.

Wasps put themselves into an excellent position after winning a lineout near halfway. The drive moved slowly infield, before the ball was released to Dan Robson. He sent a kick towards the left corner and Josh Bassett’s strong chase forced Charlie Sharples into touch, a few metres from the line. This time the drive was instant and dynamic and Thomas Young got the touchdown as the Wasps pack powered its way over the line. Jimmy Gopperth’s conversion attempt went wide of the right-hand post.

With 17 minutes gone, Hook turned down a kickable penalty to go for the left corner and the Wasps defence did well to resist a powerful drive, which was stopped on the line. A Gloucester scrum resulted and Wasps were penalised for collapsing. The home side again went for the corner. This time, the drive was too strong for the defence and Richard Hibbard was the man with the final touch. Hook’s conversion gave his side a 10-5 lead.

Wasps had an immediate chance to respond in kind, after Danny Cipriani’s penalty found touch near the left corner, but the forwards were penalised as they drove for the line and the opportunity was lost. The next promising position came after Rob Miller gathered a high kick, just outside his 22 and sliced through the middle of the Gloucester defence. He made 50 metres before feeding Kearnan Myall, inside the home 22. The ball was worked out to the left, but a knock on came as Christian Wade attempted a chip through the defence. Another opportunity came from a penalty towards the right corner, but the drive was stopped and the ball was buried, giving Gloucester the put-in to the scrum.

Two minutes before half-time, Wasps were penalised at a lineout five metres inside their half. Hook went for the posts, but his kick dropped short and Wasps took the ball through a series of phases before Dan Robson’s kick to touch ended a rather low-key half for the Men in Black and  Gold. The home side had dominated possession and territory, starving Wasps of opportunities to get their attacking game together.

Wasps began the half with their best period of possession of the match, sparked by Thomas Young bursting clear of a maul, 30 metres out from the Gloucester line. He fed Dan Robson who took play into the  22. The ball was moved out to the left, where Kyle Eastmond’s long pass found Jimmy Gopperth in space. He was stopped a few metres short of the line and play swept back across the field. There was an overlap on the right, but as Eastmond tried to find Tommy Taylor on the wing, Henry Purdy intercepted. Purdy was then scragged by Taylor and forced into touch near the corner. Wasps lost the lineout, but then won a penalty just outside the 22, near the left touchline. Jimmy Gopperth was on target to narrow the gap to 10-8, with six minutes of the half played.

After 50 minutes, Marty Moore and Ashley Johnson replaced Phil Swainston and James Gaskell. Almost immediately, Wasps won a breakdown penalty, 35 metres out, directly in front of the posts. Jimmy Gopperth’s successful penalty put Wasps back in front, by a single point. Gloucester had an immediate chance to reclaim the lead, when Wasps conceded a turnover at the restart and were penalised for offside in midfield, 30 metres out. Surprisingly, Hook’s kick went wide.

Two minutes later, an error by Danny Cipriani let Gloucester in for a try by the posts. His attempted clearance ricocheted off the back of Dan Robson’s head. As he chased back, he couldn’t quite gather the bobbling ball and Mark Atkinson followed up to pick up and dive over. This time, Hook made no mistake with the simplest of kicks, and Gloucester were 17-11 ahead. 

With Wasps now looking rattled, Gloucester struck another crucial blow when sustained pressure ended with Matt Scott stretching out to dot the ball down over the line. Hook’s conversion stretched the lead to thirteen points. Wasps brought Joe Simpson and Will Rowlands on for Dan Robson and Matt Symons and both replacements were quickly involved in a flowing move which ended with Guy Thompson crossing the line, but being unable to ground the ball. A penalty was sent to the corner, a series of surges led to a scrum where a scrum penalty was conceded, allowing the home side to relieve the pressure.

With time ticking away, Wasps kept up the pressure and they were rewarded for their efforts when Ashley Johnson’s driving run gave Thomas Young the chance to go over for his second try, seven minutes from time. Gopperth converted to bring Wasps within six points. Wasps seemed about to snatch a shock victory, when Danny Cipriani went on a scything run through the Gloucester defence. As he reached the 22, he passed inside to Christian Wade, but the winger was scragged and the ball went loose. A long kick downfield landed deep inside the Wasps 22 and Charlie Sharples had all the time in the world to gather and dive over for a try, which Hook was unable to convert.

Salt was rubbed in the wound when another Wasps attack broke down on halfway. Henry Purdy hacked downfield and won the race to the touchdown. Hook’s conversion made the final score 36-18.

Gloucester Rugby Line ups

  1. Paddy McAllister
  2. Richard Hibbard
  3. John Afoa
  4. Tom Savage
  5. Mariano Galarza
  6. Lewis Ludlow
  7. Jacob Rowan
  8. Ben Morgan
  9. Willie Heinz
  10. Billy Burns
  11. Henry Purdy
  12. Mark Atkinson
  13. Matt Scott
  14. Charlie Sharples
  15. James Hook
  16. Motu Matu'u
  17. Yann Thomas
  18. Josh Hohneck
  19. Joe Latta
  20. Matt Kvesic
  21. Callum Braley
  22. Matt Protheroe
  23. Ollie Thorley

Wasps Line ups

  1. Matt Mullan
  2. Tommy Taylor
  3. Phil Swainston
  4. Matt Symons
  5. Kearnan Myall
  6. James Gaskell
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Guy Thompson
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Josh Bassett
  12. Jimmy Gopperth
  13. Kyle Eastmond
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Rob Miller
  16. Tom Cruse
  17. Tom Bristow
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Will Rowlands
  20. Ashley Johnson
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Frank Halai
  23. Alapati Leiua