Leeds suffer survival blow
April 17, 2011
Joe Simpson races clear to score one of his two tries against Leeds
© Getty Images
Leeds' survival hopes suffered a blow as they were thrashed 51-18 by London Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday afternoon.
The West Yorkshire club, who are bottom of the table after Newcastle's losing bonus point against Northampton on Friday, now have only two games in which to escape relegation.The final fixture is at flying Northampton so next weekend's home game against Harlequins is almost certainly a must win.
Leeds competed well in the early stages of the match but as the game wore on they had no answer to the pace and skills of Richard Haughton and Joe Simpson both of whom scored two tries with David Walder, on his last appearance at Adams Park kicking fourteen points.
A young Wasps side were without the likes of Andy Powell, Serge Betsen and David Lemi but they produced a much-improved performance to record only their second win in ten games.
Wasps were ahead within three minutes of the start. Luther Burrell lost possession of the ball in a tackle allowing Haughton to kick ahead, Simpson did likewise and then followed up to win the race for the touchdown. Walder made a hash of his conversion attempt.
Five minutes later and Leeds were on the score sheet when Adrian Jarvis kicked a simple penalty after the visitors had exerted some pressure in the Wasps 22.
The opening quarter was evenly contested with Wasps being the more penetrative side but too often they lost possession at key moments as the Carnegie forwards with Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie were able to steal ball at the maul area and put the home scrum under considerable pressure.
Wasps continued to threaten and after a fine pick up from young centre, Elliot Daly, a second try looked likely but Michael Stephenson prevented them from doing so by killing the ball near the Leeds line. He received a yellow card and Walder kicked the resulting penalty to make it 8-3 after 31 minutes.
Back came Carnegie and Jarvis reduced the arrears with a 30-metre penalty but that success was soon nullified when Walder fired over a penalty from 40 minutes. Just before half-time Wasps got their second try, which their first half superiority deserved, when Walder kicked ahead for Haughton to squeeze in at the corner for the score which Walder was unable to convert to leave Wasps 16-6 ahead at the interval.
Stephenson returned early in the second half but it was Wasps who extended their lead when once again the visitors gifted them a score. Leeds carelessly lost possession in the tackle in their own half, Ben Broster hacked on and Haughton was on hand to cleverly pick up the ball and score the try which Walder converted.
After 53 minutes Wasps sealed victory with their fourth try of the game when replacement hooker Joe Ward drove over from close range and then almost immediately Simpson scored the try of the game when he raced away from the Leeds defence after receiving the ball from a line-out on halfway. Walder converted both tries and the visitors were in deep trouble 37-6 down at the end of the third quarter.
With the game won, Wasps relaxed allowing Rhys Oakley a try converted by Jarvis with 14 minutes to go.But the home side emphasised their superiority when replacements Billy Vunipola and Zak Taulafo both battered their way over for late tries, both converted, before Christian Lewis-Pratt picked up a consolation try for Carnegie with a strong running solo effort with the last movement of the match.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September