Saracens end Wasps’ six-match winning Premiership run with five-try win

Wasps’ six-match Aviva Premiership winning run was ended by a commanding performance from Saracens who claimed a 38-15 win at the Ricoh Arena.

15 - 38
Wasps Saracens

Sun 7th January 2018
3:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened
Three first-half tries gave the visitors an 18-3 lead, before Wasps rallied with two tries just before the break.
 
But with Saracens down to 13 men for the first few minutes of the second half, Wasps were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, and when restored to full strength the visitors added 20 unanswered points in the final quarter.

They ended the day just five points behind Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs, with Dai Young’s team six points behind them, still in third place.
 
Wasps made an encouraging start, controlling the ball through numerous phases, in an opening passage which lasted nearly three minutes.

But it was Saracens who came close to the first score, when Willie Le Roux was beaten by a wicked bounce deep inside his 22, but Nathan Earle was unable to gather.
 
However, the visitors did soon claim the opening score, after a powerful carry by Billy Vunipola from a lineout on Wasps’ 22. He was stopped just short, but the ball was then moved wide to Chris Wyles, who went over near the left corner.
 
Owen Farrell missed the conversion, and before the restart Gaby Lovobalavu limped off to be replaced by Guy Armitage.
 
Five minutes later the away team added a second try, when Alex Goode gathered a long pass, to go over in the same corner. Farrell’s conversion hit the post.
 
Wasps responded with a fine attack, when Christian Wade  sent Juan de Jongh away down the right. He passed inside to Dan Robson, who was in the clear, only for Wade’s pass to be ruled forward.
 
But the hosts were on the board five minutes later thanks to Danny Cipriani’s 40-metre penalty, however this was immediately cancelled out by Farrell penalty from a similar distance.
 
The visitors were dominating territory and possession, and it took a last-ditch tackle by Robson and Armitage’s crucial interception to prevent tries. But their constant pressure did eventually tell when another charge by Billy Vunipola set up Schalk Burger, who crashed over near the posts.
 
Wasps then began to apply pressure, as two penalties were sent to the corner to set up powerful lineout drives. And when the second of these was brought down just short,  a penalty try was awarded and Burger was sent to the sin-bin.

He was joined on the sidelines a minute later by Farrell, following a high tackle on Robson. The hosts took immediate advantage when Wade came off his wing and sent Le Roux through a gap to the line.

Cipriani missed the conversion, to leave the half-time score at 18-15 – but they suffered a setback during the break when De Jongh was forced off, to be replaced by Rob Miller. 


 
Playing against 13 men, the hosts pressed hard and Wade was only denied by Goode’s last-ditch tackle wide on the right.
 
And after the Sarries pair returned from the sinbin, their British Lions’ No.10 extended their advantage with a straightforward 30 metre penalty.
 
Wasps were immediately back on the attack, when Cipriani’s chip bounced awkwardly for Goode, a few metres from his own line, and under pressure from Le Roux, he was forced to carry over.
 
From the scrum, Wasps broke round the blindside, and Armitage’s flat pass sent Thomas Young racing to the corner, only for his foot to clip the touchline just before he crossed the line.
 
A speedy Saracens breakaway led by Sean Maitland then almost creating a fourth try, before Nizaam Carr got back to win a crucial turnover inches from the line.
 
However, the tide was now beginning to turn in the visitors’ favour and their pressure was finally turned into points by Goode who went over for the bonus point score 14 minutes from time.
 
Farrell’s conversion stretched the lead to 28-15, and he added three more points with a simple penalty won at a scrum six minutes from time.

Alex Lozowski’s break then rounded things off by setting up the two-time European champions for a fifth try, finished by replacement Ben Spencer, and converted by Farrell.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Ben Harris
  2. Ashley Johnson
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. James Gaskell
  5. Kearnan Myall
  6. James Haskell
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Nizaam Carr
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Marcus Watson
  12. Gabiriele Lovobalavu
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Tom Cruse
  17. Tom West
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Will Rowlands
  20. Guy Thompson
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Rob Miller
  23. Guy Armitage

Saracens Line ups

  1. Mako Vunipola
  2. Christopher Tolofua
  3. Vincent Koch
  4. Maro Itoje
  5. Nick Isiekwe
  6. Michael Rhodes
  7. Schalk Burger
  8. Billy Vunipola
  9. Richard Wigglesworth
  10. Owen Farrell
  11. Chris Wyles
  12. Bradley Barritt
  13. Duncan Taylor
  14. Nathan Earle
  15. Alex Goode
  16. Jamie George
  17. Richard Barrington
  18. Juan Figallo
  19. Will Skelton
  20. Jackson Wray
  21. Ben Spencer
  22. Alex Lozowski
  23. Sean Maitland