With a few away games, and feeling under the weather for the last home game, it's been a while since I've been to see Wasps play. Wasps need to finish in the top four to make the premiership playoffs, and today would be an eight point match - Wasps were playing Irish, the team in fourth place, and directly above Wasps. Irish have a game in hand.
More than most, this was a must-win game.
|Table Built: Sunday, 04 April 2010 11:08 UK|
Danny Cipriani was to start for Wasps, but he had a knock to his ankle, and so as a precautionary measure it was announced that Cipriani would be on the bench, with Walder starting.
Starting 15 Mark Van Gisbergen; 14 Tom Varndell; 13 Dom Waldouck; 12 Steve Kefu; 11 David Lemi; 10 Dave Walder; 9 Joe Simpson; 1 Tim Payne; 2 Rob Webber; 3 Ben Broster; 4 Dan Ward-Smith; 5 George Skivington; 6 Joe Worsley; 7 Tom Rees (C); 8 John Hart
Replacements 16 Tom Lindsay; 17 Zak Taulafo; 18 Bob Baker; 19 Serge Betsen; 20 Warren Fury; 21 Paul Sackey; 22 Danny Cipriani; 23 Ben Jacobs;
Starting 15. Peter Hewat; 14. John Rudd; 13. Elvis Seveali’i; 12. Seilala Mapusua; 11. Delon Armitage; 10. Ryan Lamb; 9. Paul Hodgson; 1. Dan Murphy; 2. James Buckland, 3. Faan Rautenbach; 4. Kieran Roche; 5. Bob Casey (C); 6. George Stowers; 7. Steffon Armitage; 8. Chris Hala’Ufia.
Replacements 16. Danie Coetzee; 17. James Tideswell; 18. Alex Corbisiero; 19. Matt Garvey; 20. Jamie Gibson; 21. Chris Malone; 22. Mike Catt; 23. Tom Homer.
The game started well, with a penalty try for Wasps and a yellow card for Steffon Armitage. A conversion and two penalties saw Wasps go 13-0 up.
Irish replied with a score from Seilala Mapusua and a conversion from Ryan Lamb.
Soon after, there was danger for Wasps, but the try was prevented. Steve Kefu earned a yellow in the process (though this was not a penalty try). Tom Varndell and Dan Ward-Smith took a pair of superb tries down the right hand side, just in front of where Monica was standing. Varndell's try was a chipped kick from Waldouck if memory serves.
In the second half, Waldouck put the ball down for a fourth try and a bonus point. 30-10.
Irish began to claw back, with the score reaching 30-22 with less than ten minutes remaining. Danny Cipriani kicked a penalty to take the score to 33-22 at the 37th minute. This was the last score of the game.
There were several occasions where the things looked like they'd boil over, quite a few folks were squaring off. The lady who sits next to me said that she saw Joe Simpson on the receiving end of some sneaky blows more than once - I didn't see this myself. There were lots of little things like this which the ref and touch judge did not seem to act on, even to have a talking to.
Wasps are now in the fourth spot of the premiership, though Irish have a game in hand.
|Table Built: Sunday, 04 April 2010 19:42 UK|
Next week is the ERC match against Gloucester, then it's away to Worcester in the premiership.
On the 24th, Wasps will face Bath, and on the 8th May will be the final match of the regular premiership season, away to Newcastle. The following weekend is the Premiership semi-final.
Both Sarries and Irish have a game in hand.
Sarries are to play away to Sale, at home to Quins, away to Saints and away to Tigers. Irish are away to Worcester, Home to Leeds, away to Gloucester and away to Saints.
Despite the game in hand for Sarries and Irish, a third place finish is possible for Wasps, a second place would be too much of a stretch. Unfortunately, a fifth place is also waiting for us, or even worse with a few duff results. The St. George's day game will be critical here.