Wasps continue home winning streak with thrilling victory over Worcester Warriors

Wasps stretched their winning run at the Ricoh Arena to 15 matches, with a comprehensive bonus point victory over Worcester Warriors. 

62 - 10
Wasps Worcester Warriors

Sun 13th November 2016
3:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Anglo-Welsh Cup As it happened

After going behind to two Josh Adams tries midway through the first half, they began to find their rhythm and produced some scintillating rugby. They scored ten thrilling tries, nearly all of them started from their own half and the result keeps them in the running for a semi-final place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Worcester made an impressive start after gathering Connor Eastgate’s kick-off. They ran the ball from near their own line and worked their way through a series of phases to take play into the Wasps 22. Tom Heathcote darted through a gap and had a huge overlap outside him, but his pass to Max Stelling went forward. Wasps won a penalty from the ensuing scrum and cleared to near halfway. The lineout was won and they went through some well-controlled phases themselves, before a pass went astray out wide on the left following good work through the middle by Alex Rieder. 

Further controlled possession took the home side up to the Worcester 22, but a breakdown penalty was conceded. Heathcote’s kick found touch on the Wasps 22, but Will Rowlands stole the line out and Joe Simpson hoisted a kick, which Tom Howe did well to gather before a breakdown penalty was won.

After Guy Armitage came off his wing to skip past a couple of tacklers out on the right, a powerful burst by Brendan Macken created space for Tom Cruse to go through a gap in midfield. He was deep inside the 22 when he was stopped and Wasps were unable to control the ball a few metres from the line.

After 15 minutes, Wasps won a kickable penalty, but went for the left corner. From the lineout, Joe Simpson tried an inside pass to Guy Armitage, but the ball went loose and a Worcester counterattack sent Tom Biggs away down the left, before Tom Howe’s covering tackle forced him into touch. A quick throw set up another attack and Wasps were building up a promising position on the left, when the referee stopped play as Worcester lock Andrew Kitchener was lying prone on the turf. After several minutes of attention, he left the field for a head injury assessment.

Play restarted with a Wasps scrum in midfield resulting in a penalty. They found touch at the right corner, the lineout was won and a series of thrusts for the line were stopped just short. After Connor Eastgate was tackled near the left touchline, quick passing sent Tom Cruse over in the left corner and Eastgate landed an excellent conversion as the clock reached twenty minutes.

Worcester responded within a minute, when Wasps were caught napping by Michael Dowsett’s quick penalty just inside their 22. With the defence expecting a kick to the corner, the ball was moved out to the right and fullback Josh Adams went over in the right corner. Max Stelling missed the conversion as Kitchener returned to the field.

Wasps had a great chance to stretch their lead after Thomas Young won a turnover just inside the Worcester half. He broke clear from the breakdown with James Gaskell in support, but the Wasps skipper was unable to hang on to the pass. A minute later, Worcester went ahead after Joe Simpson lost the ball in midfield. Josh Adams picked up and set off on an angled run which took him over in the right corner, with Simpson in hot pursuit. Stelling was again unable to add the extra points.

Wasps responded with a superb try, created when Piers O’Conor gathered a kick inside the Wasps half and moved out to the right to feed Tom Howe. The winger beat his man with a glorious sidestep to go clear. He found Thomas Young in support and the flanker went in from the 22, to touch down near the posts. Connor Eastgate converted to make the score 14-10, with seven minutes of the half still to play.

Wasps closed the half in thrilling fashion with a flowing move ending when Jack Willis, on as a blood replacement for Will Rowlands, dived over in the right corner. Eastgate’s conversion hit the right-hand post, leaving Wasps’ halftime lead at 19-10 after forty highly entertaining minutes.

Wasps made a number of changes for the second half. Will Rowlands returned to the fray, while Joe Simpson and Tom West made way for Dan Robson and Ben Harris, making his first appearance since arriving on loan from Newcastle Falcons. Barely 80 seconds had passed when Thomas Young powered away from a breakdown before delivering a neat offload to Robson, who went in from the 22 to secure the try bonus. Connor Eastgate’s conversion stretched the lead to 26-10.

Six minutes later, it was Robson who started the move which led to Wasps’ fifth try. A Worcester move broke down in the Wasps 22 and Robson raced away, stepping in and out before passing inside to Tom Howe, who was brought down inside the Worcester 22. Tom Cruse arrived to burst through a tackle, before offloading to Brendan Macken, who went over under the posts. An easy conversion for Connor Eastgate took the lead to 33-10.

A thunderous tackle by Alapati Leiua on Tom Biggs was the next action to set the crowd roaring. It was Leiua’s last contribution of the day, as he was then replaced by Owain James while Will Stuart came on for Phil Swainston.

With the Wasps backline still readjusting, Worcester made a series of line breaks, and created two clearcut try-scoring opportunities that both went begging, as the final pass was not held. From the second, Dan Robson broke out of his 22 before chipping over the defence. Tom Howe, who was in support, did well to gather the ball from his toes before accelerating clear for a fine score. Robson missed the conversion, as Connor Eastgate was leaving the field to be replaced by Jacob Umaga.

Further changes cleared the Wasps bench as the game entered the final quarter and Umaga made an immediate impact, with his second try from the bench in two weeks. Piers O’Conor showed an impressive burst of pace down the right and his pass sent the replacement over in the right corner. Owain James’ conversion put Wasps 45-10 clear.

Eleven minutes from time, Wasps brought up the half-century when Dan Robson stole round the blind side to cruise in for his second try from his own half. Owain James missed the conversion. Their ninth try came, with just over two minutes left, following a lineout near the left corner. The drive came infield, Ashley Johnson slipped the ball to Dan Robson and his short pass sent Piers O’Conor over in the corner. Owain James missed the difficult conversion.

With the clock at zero, Ashley Johnson gathered a clearance deep inside his own half. He made several metres before the ball was released to Dan Robson, who went through a gap in the exhausted defence. He found Jacob Umaga on his inside and the England Under-18 player raced away for his second try of the day. Owain James ended proceedings with the conversion, leaving the final score at 62-10. Tom Howe was named Man of the Match. 

Wasps Line ups

  1. Tom West
  2. Tom Cruse
  3. Phil Swainston
  4. Marcus Garratt
  5. Will Rowlands
  6. James Gaskell
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Alex Rieder
  9. Joe Simpson
  10. Connor Eastgate
  11. Guy Armitage
  12. Brendan Macken
  13. Alapati Leiua
  14. Tom Howe
  15. Piers O'Conor
  16. Ashley Johnson
  17. Ben Harris
  18. Will Stuart
  19. Jack Willis
  20. Sam Harry
  21. Dan Robson
  22. Owain James
  23. Jacob Umaga

Worcester Warriors Line ups

  1. Derrick Appiah
  2. Jack Singleton
  3. Michael Daniels
  4. Andrew Kitchener
  5. Wilhelm Van der Sluys
  6. Sam Betty
  7. Sam Lewis
  8. Matt Cox
  9. Michael Dowsett
  10. Tom Heathcote
  11. Tom Biggs
  12. Max Stelling
  13. Andy Short
  14. Afeafe Lokotui
  15. Josh Adams
  16. Matt Williams
  17. Ryan Bower
  18. Biyi Alo
  19. Justin Clegg
  20. Sam Ripper-Smith
  21. Huw Taylor
  22. George de Cothi
  23. Alex Hearle