Wasps motor to bonus point win against Newcastle Falcons

A blistering start, which produced three tries inside the first fifteen minutes, put Wasps on course for a bonus point win which moves them up to sixth place in the Aviva Premiership table, before the final round fixtures are played on Sunday.

40 - 10
Wasps Newcastle Falcons

Sat 18th November 2017
5:15 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened
Newcastle fought back strongly to end the first half only nine points down, but three converted second half tries took Wasps out of sight. 

Wasps took the lead with a wonderfully created try after just two minutes. They won a lineout a few metres inside the Newcastle half. Quick ball was won and Juan de Jongh went into contact. From quick recycled possession, Jimmy Gopperth sent Kyle Eastmond racing through a gap in midfield. The centre made 30 metres before drawing the final defender, to send Christian Wade over near the left corner. Gopperth added the conversion to give his side the perfect start.

The visitors responded in a threatening manner, with Sinoti Sinoti’s jinking run taking them deep into the Wasps 22. When the ball was moved out to the left, Christian Wade came tantalisingly close to an interception, with open field in front of him. He was unable to gather and the visitors kept up the pressure before winning a penalty near the posts. Toby Flood’s kick put his side on the scoreboard.

Wasps came straight back with another delightful try. Quick passing along the backs gave Willie Le Roux the chance to come into the line at pace and his pass gave Christian Wade another clear run in for his second try, his 74th in the Premiership. This time Gopperth was unable to land the difficult conversion.

A third try soon followed, after Kyle Eastmond’s dummy opened up the defence and his diagonal run took him over in the left corner. Jimmy Gopperth’s magnificent conversion gave Wasps a 19-3 lead, with barely 15 minutes played.

Christian Wade then used his pace to great defensive effect, when he turned and raced back to catch Gary Graham after the flanker had slipped a tackle to go through a gap and seemed certain to score.

A wonderful, flowing move, with Willie Le Roux again coming into the line well, almost created a try for Thomas Young after the flanker somehow managed to stay infield, as he raced down the left touchline. Wasps kept the ball alive and won a penalty when play came back in to the middle. They opted for a scrum and quick ball was fed to Jimmy Gopperth, who almost jinked through. Recycled possession was moved out to the left and Jake Cooper-Woolley forced his way over the line, but just lost the ball as he tried to ground it.

A menacing run by Simon Hammersley stretched the home defence and set up their opening try, when Josh Matavesi found the space to send lock Sean Robinson in for a try, which Toby Flood converted to cut Wasps’ advantage to 19-10 with seven minutes of the half to play.

The visitors were now playing with great confidence and Wasps conceded a series of penalties, keeping them pinned down in their own 22. A minute before halftime, it took a fantastic last-ditch tackle by Kyle Eastmond to prevent Sinoti Sinoti from scoring in the left corner. A TMO review then showed that the Newcastle winger had jumped into the tackle and Wasps were awarded a penalty, although Eastmond was forced to leave the field for a head injury assessment. His place was taken by Gaby Lovobalavu and the half-time whistle blew, with Wasps still holding a nine-point lead.

After the break, Lovobavalu stayed on permanently. The Fijian centre was heavily involved in a wonderful sustained attack, which took play through phase after phase, before Thomas Young’s short pass sent James Haskell crashing over for the bonus point try. Jimmy Gopperth converted to take the Wasps' lead to 26-10.

Wasps thought they had added a fifth try, five minutes later, when Dan Robson broke round the blindside of a ruck just inside the Newcastle half. He fed Ashley Johnson who drew the final defender before sending Willie Le Roux clear, but the TMO ruled that the final pass had gone forwards.

Wasps then made a series of replacements, which saw Nizaam Carr come on for his home and Aviva Premiership debut, after 54 minutes. Newcastle continued to test the defence, with several minutes of pressure, before Juan de Jongh hacked a stray pass downfield where there were acres of open space. Josh Bassett was in hot pursuit, but the ball veered infield and de Jongh was just unable to gather.

Just short of the hour mark, Wasps stretched their lead when Joe Simpson broke from a scrum on halfway. His pace took him into the 22, where he combined with Jimmy Gopperth and his pass over the defender found Gaby Lovobalavu, who dived over for a spectacular breakaway try, which Gopperth converted.

Wasps were now playing in their best, free-flowing manner, and a superb piece of handling by James Gaskell, who had to reach behind his back to gather a pass, almost created a sixth try. It was then Newcastle’s turn to come close, when another excellent piece of cover defence by Christian Wade prevented an equally spectacular counter-attacking score.

Nathan Charles became the next Wasps debutant, when he replaced Ashley Johnson 14 minutes from time. With seven minutes left, Wasps scored another glorious score from near their own line. Rob Miller’s long pass launched the move, which ended with Josh Bassett racing half the length of the field for his fifth Premiership try of the season. Another Gopperth conversion stretched the lead to thirty points, at 40-10.

Seconds from time, James Haskell came close to his second try when he poached a wayward lineout throw, but he was stopped on the line and Wasps were penalised at the breakdown. The final whistle went shortly afterwards, with the home crowd savouring another excellent win which featured another raft of Try of the Month contenders.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Simon McIntyre
  2. Ashley Johnson
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. Will Rowlands
  5. James Gaskell
  6. James Haskell
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Guy Thompson
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Jimmy Gopperth
  11. Josh Bassett
  12. Kyle Eastmond
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Nathan Charles
  17. Ben Harris
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Kearnan Myall
  20. Nizaam Carr
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Rob Miller
  23. Gabiriele Lovobalavu

Newcastle Falcons Line ups

  1. Rob Vickers
  2. Scott Lawson
  3. Jon Welsh
  4. Calum Green
  5. Sean Robinson
  6. Will Welch
  7. Gary Graham
  8. Mark Wilson
  9. Sam Stuart
  10. Toby Flood
  11. Sinoti Sinoti
  12. Josh Matavesi
  13. Chris Harris
  14. Alex Tait
  15. Simon Hammersley
  16. Kyle Cooper
  17. Sami Mavinga
  18. Scott Wilson
  19. Will Witty
  20. Nili Latu
  21. Joel Hodgson
  22. Juan Pablo Socino
  23. Belisario Agulla