Planet Rugby

Wasps not safe just yet

21st April 2012 16:04

Share:

Michael Claassens

Michael Claassens: Led from the front

Bath saw off Wasps 17-12 at the Rec but the Londoners clawed back what could be a vital bonus point in the final relegation reckoning.

The first half was tight and tense as expected but the visitors were scrapping for their Premiership lives and that desire and hunger shone through.

The Wasps pack dominated their opposite numbers in the scrum and fly-half Nicky Robinson kicked almost impeccably, hitting the target with three penalties to put his team 9-0 ahead at the break.

Bath did threaten in the final seconds of the half, but just as Michael Claassens looked like he was about to score the game's opening try, 20-year-old full-back Jack Wallace stepped up to make a crucial tackle and preserve his side's nine-point lead.

The home side came out firing in the second half though after what was no doubt a rather frank team-talk and - after a period of concerted pressure - veteran hooker Lee Mears showed that he still has some pace left before touching down out wide.

Olly Barkley failed with the conversion but Wasps were firmly on the back foot and they ceded their slender advantage moments later as All Black fly-half Stephen Donald went over directly underneath the posts to give the home crowd something to cheer.

The relegation-threatened Londoners did eventually see some of the ball and create a couple of chances but the West Country outfit still looked more dangerous. And, as the match entered the last ten minutes, Nick Abendanon took advantage of an overlap created by the absence of Dominic Waldouck, who had been yellow-carded a few minutes earlier for handling on the floor, to make it 17-9 and put the visitors out of bonus point range.

But with five minutes remaining, the reliable Robinson kicked his fourth penalty of the afternoon to give Wasps that crucial bonus point that means Newcastle will almost certainly need to get a try bonus point as well as the win and deny the London outfit a losing bonus point in their encounter next week if they are to escape the drop.

Wasps had to survive a close video replay decision at the death as Sam Vesty went over but Tom Varndell was the hero, holding him up over the line, and the defence held out to secure what could be the deciding point in one of the most thrilling Premiership relegation battles in recent years.

Rugby Union betting odds

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Mears, Donald, Abendanon
Cons: Barkley

For Wasps:
Pens: Robinson 4

Yellow cards: Waldouck (Wasps)

Bath:15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Ben Skirving, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Flatman, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Kyle Eastmond.

Wasps: 15 Jack Wallace, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Richard Birkett (c), 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Zac Taulafo, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Chris Mayor, 23 Lee Robinson.

Referee: David Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615