Quins end Wasps unbeaten run

Wasps’ proud run of 20 successive home Premiership wins came to an end against a determined Quins side, whose three previous visits to the Ricoh had resulted in heavy defeats. 

21 - 24
Wasps Harlequins

Sun 17th September 2017
3:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened
To compound their disappointment, Wasps suffered a series of injuries, with both Alex Rieder and Guy Thompson being forced to leave the field and the hobbling Danny Cipriani having to be helped off at the end of the game. The result means Wasps move to second place in the table, one point behind leaders Exeter.

Harlequins took an early lead, when Wasps were caught offside, following a clearance from Willie Le Roux inside his own 22. Marcus Smith landed the kick from in front of the posts. An excellent chase from Danny Cipriani’s restart won Wasps an immediate penalty on the Quins 22. Cipriani made no mistake and the scores were level with four minutes gone.

Quins were enjoying all the early pressure and possession and came close to an opening try when Joe Marchant broke clear down the left. It took a timely interception by Elliot Daly to end a threatening move.  Wasps were then forced into an early injury change when Alex Rieder left the field, clutching his left arm. His place was taken by James Haskell.

Wasps then put together a thrilling counter-attack, started by Elliot Daly inside his own 22. He combined with Nathan Hughes who took play towards halfway. Tom Cruse joined the move and reached the Quins 22, with supporting players on either side, but he was unable to get the pass away. With 14 minutes gone, another attack from deep set up the game’s first try. Danny Cipriani started it on the Wasps 10-metre. He found Marcus Watson, across from the left wing. He accelerated through a gap before feeding Willie Le Roux out wide on the right. The fullback drew the final defender before passing inside to Christian Wade, who danced over for his 71st Premiership try. Cipriani converted, to put Wasps 10-3 ahead after 15 minutes.

Five minutes later, an ill-tempered clash between England team-mates Joe Marler and James Haskell resulted in a yellow card for the Wasps man. Marcus Smith landed the resultant penalty to make the score 10-6.  Within seconds of the restart, Smith sent a precise kick to the left touchline. Mike Brown leapt high and flipped the ball inside to Marland Yarde, who had a clear run and went over in the corner. Smith’s conversion struck the post and Quins were back in front by 11 points to 10.

Wasps then had a chance to regain the lead when Willie Le Roux sent Marcus Watson away down the left. He seemed certain to go over in the corner, but Yarde put in a magnificent cover tackle and Watson lost control of the ball just short of the line. A minute later, Wasps again came close in the opposite corner with Le Roux, Wade and Daly combining threateningly. The movement broke down just short of the line, but the referee had been playing advantage for a Wasps penalty. From 35 metres out, 15 metres in from the left touchline, Danny Cipriani pushed his kick to the right of the posts.

Eight minutes before halftime, a leg injury to Guy Thompson forced Wasps into another back row replacement with Ashley Johnson taking his place. Johnson was immediately at the heart of a powerful forward drive which took Wasps 20 metres, from inside their 22 up to the 10-metre line. Moments later, Joe Simpson took a quick tap inside his 22 and Gaby Lovobalavu stepped inside a defender to send Tom Cruse charging over halfway.  The attack was stopped 15 metres inside the Quins half and Wasps won a penalty. This time, Danny Cipriani found the target to put his side 13-11 ahead and that was how it stood at the break three minutes later.

The visitors were back in front three minutes into the second half, after Wasps spilt the ball in midfield. They moved the ball out to the left and Joe Marchant combined with Charlie Walker, who went over for a well-worked try. Smith’s conversion put his side 18-13 in front. Moments later, James Haskell pounced on a misdirected long throw to charge into the Quins 22. They moved the ball out to the right and came close, before the referee called things back for a penalty near the right corner. Wasps turned down the kick at goal to set up an attacking lineout. Joe Launchbury won the ball at the front, the drive came infield and another penalty ensued. Wasps again went for the corner. The drive again slewed infield and the ball was released to the backs. Willie Le Roux slipped one tackle, before finally being brought down just short. A Nathan Hughes drive was stopped on the line and Quins won a penalty.

Wasps were soon back on the attack, with a penalty being taken forward 10 metres. The kick to the corner set up another lineout which was stopped on the line, with Kyle Sinckler being sent to the sin bin. This time there was no stopping the drive and Tom Cruse was at the bottom of the pile of bodies to score a try. Danny Cipriani’s conversion went to the right of the posts leaving it all square with 25 minutes left.

Six minutes later, a high tackle on Nathan Hughes gave Wasps a penalty just inside the Quins 22 and Danny Cipriani’s kick, from in front of the posts, put Wasps back in front at 21-18 after 62 minutes. Quins came close to reclaiming the lead after Charlie Walker managed to find space on the left before hacking towards the corner. It took a last-ditch piece of covering by Christian Wade to prevent a try, as he kicked the ball dead to give Quins a 5-metre scrum.

They won the ball and moved it quickly to Jamie Roberts coming in on the crash ball. Danny Cipriani got a hand to the ball and was immediately shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Marcus Smith landed the penalty to level the scores at 21-all.

Rob Miller immediately came on for Marcus Watson and took over at fly-half. Two minutes later, Jack Clifford’s 40-metre charge took play deep into the Wasps 22 and Joe Launchbury was penalised at the breakdown, immediately in front of the post. Marcus Smith was on target to give his side a three-point lead with only nine minutes remaining.

Smith then sent Wasps back into their 22 with a beautifully placed kick to left corner, which Christian Wade was forced to play into touch, with Charlie Walker breathing down his neck. Wasps escaped from their 22 when they were awarded a free-kick at a scrum. Elliot Daly sent a long kick downfield and Mike Brown knocked on as he tried to keep the ball in play.

A Rob Miller break took play into the Quins 22 to give his side a chance of snatching a dramatic victory, but defensive pressure forced a knock-on in the next phase. Quins gathered the loose ball  and played the clock down before Marcus Smith cleared to touch to record a notable victory. 

Wasps Line ups

  1. Matt Mullan
  2. Tom Cruse
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. Joe Launchbury
  5. Will Rowlands
  6. Alex Rieder
  7. Guy Thompson
  8. Nathan Hughes
  9. Joe Simpson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Marcus Watson
  12. Gabiriele Lovobalavu
  13. Elliot Daly
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Ashley Johnson
  17. Simon McIntyre
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Marcus Garratt
  20. James Haskell
  21. Craig Hampson
  22. Rob Miller
  23. Juan de Jongh

Harlequins Line ups

  1. Joe Marler
  2. Dave Ward
  3. Kyle Sinckler
  4. George Merrick
  5. James Horwill
  6. Chris Robshaw
  7. Jack Clifford
  8. Matt Luamanu
  9. Danny Care
  10. Marcus Smith
  11. Charlie Walker
  12. Jamie Roberts
  13. Joe Marchant
  14. Marland Yarde
  15. Mike Brown
  16. Elia Elia
  17. Mark Lambert
  18. Will Collier
  19. Ben Glynn
  20. Archie White
  21. Dave Lewis
  22. Tim Swiel
  23. Harry Sloan