Wasps claim bonus point win against Welsh
October 28, 2012
Wasps' wingers were in stunning form against London Welsh
Two tries apiece for winger Christian Wade and Tom Varnell propelled London Wasps to a 29-19 victory over London Welsh in their Aviva Premiership clash at Adams Park on Sunday.
The visitors had no answer to the pace and elusiveness of the 20-year-old Wade, who must surely be in the future thoughts of the national selectors, having been omitted from the recently announced squad for the autumn internationals. Varndell also impressed but Wasps should have won by a far greater margin. They were careless at times and it didn't help that Nicky Robinson missed five from his six attempts.
Wasps suffered a blow before the match when England squad member, James Haskell, withdrew with an illness. The home side made a dream start opening the scoring in the third minute. Welsh wing, Phil Mackenzie, carelessly knocked on allowing the hosts a scrum on the 22 metre line. Wasps won the ball and moved the ball sweetly along the line for Wade to speed past the cover defence for the try.
Robinson missed the conversion but soon afterwards was successful with a 35 metre penalty. Gavin Henson had Welsh's first opportunity for points with a 45 metre penalty attempt but he lost his footing as he made contact resulting in his kick falling short. However he made amends with his next effort, this time from 20 metres out, to leave Welsh 8-3 behind.
Wasps dominated the first half hour in terms of possession and territory and they deservedly extended their lead when Lee Thomas and Wade worked Varndell in the clear on half-way. The wing took his chance by outflanking the cover for an excellent individual try.
Henson attempted an ambitious 60 metre penalty but his kick fell comfortably short but when Marco Wentzel was offside, the outside half fired over a 50 metre kick.
On the stroke of half-time an alert Lee Thomas dropped a wide-angled goal in impressive style to give Wasps a 16-6 lead but that success was tempered when the influential Joe Simpson was stretchered off with a leg injury after the players had left the field for the break.
Early in the second half Welsh missed a chance to reduce the arrears when Henson was off target with a 45 metre penalty and they were made to pay when Wade scored a breathtaking second try.
Robinson fielded a clearance kick just inside his own half and fed Wade. The wing's brilliant footwork evaded two defenders before accelerating away from Tyson Keats for a stunning score. Robinson missed his third conversion attempt.
From their first attack of note, the Welsh collected their first try when following a quick dart from Keats and a neat pass from Alfie To'oala, Mckenzie was able to force his way over in the corner.
Henson and Robinson both missed penalties so Wasps held a 21-11 advantage going into the final quarter but it wasn't long before Wasps sealed victory with their bonus point try when Varndell was presented with an easy run in.
The spirited Welsh responded with their second try when prop Franck Montanella drove over from close range and two minutes from the end, a penalty from Gordon Ross gave them hope of a bonus point but that was almost immediately extinguished when Lee Thomas responded with a 30 metre effort.
"Our wings were the major difference between the two sides," said Wasps director of rugby Dai Young. "Christian was outstanding and Tom wasn't far behind. Christian must be in the frame for England, he is in the Saxons set-up but England are blessed with some high-quality wings and he must carry on the way he is playing to continue to impress them."
Exiles coach Lyn Jones concurred, commenting: "Their back three was the difference in the game. They were hugely influential, when they had 50-50 opportunities they took them all."
He added: "The mood in the dressing room is one of disappointment, we threw away a bonus point at the end and they are much sought after," he said.
"The first 20 minutes we went 8-0 down with some poor decision making and we need to be a lot tighter early on. We made too many unforced errors and it loses us points and yards in the Premiership. However we were competitive and it was a big effort from our players who all gave 100%."
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