Wasps seal dominant win over rivals to move back to the top of the table
By Sam Rourke
Wasps produced some scintillating rugby against rivals Harlequins to propel themselves back to the top of the development league
Wasps produced some scintillating rugby against rivals Harlequins to propel themselves back to the top of the development league. The hosts demonstrated their danger with ball in hand, as well as dominance up front helping them to seven tries. The 43-10 win is a real statement of intent as the development league enters the latter stages.
Wasps got the opening score after an outstanding offload in a tackle from Kendall Templeman creating space for Makeda Lewis on the wing, who crossed for her 15th try of the season. Harlequins hit back after a period of pressure inside the home side’s 22m, Bethany Wilcock levelling the score.
After a nervy first half an hour, Wasps regained the lead through a penalty try for a high tackle on Makeda Lewis. Harlequins full-back Natasha Bradshaw received a red card for the challenge, leaving the field after apologising to the Wasps player.
Wasps picked up a third try on the stroke of half time as Gemma Rowland put in a deft chip behind the defensive line which Garnet Mackinder collected and raced down the touchline to score. A conversion from out wide gave Wasps a 19-5 lead at the break.
Despite an initial try-saving tackle from Kendall Templeman, Harlequins got the first score of the second half through Chloe Edwards to narrow the gap. However, Wasps sealed the win in style with four tries in the final 20 minutes.
The first came from an excellent kick from Florence williams after spotting space in behind, Gemma Rowland collected and scored on her first start since returning from injury. Florence williams continued to pull the strings as she gave a fantastic dummy pass before sliding through a gap in the defence and dotting down.
Wasps continued to apply pressure with the boot to make their advantage count. Rose Dixon fielded a cross field kick before offloading to Amy Atkinson who won the race and picked up her ninth try of the season. The final score came from a bullet pass after pressure on the Harlequins line, sending Kendall Templeman through to dot down under the posts.
The home side showed real tenacity to take full advantage of the red card in the first half, using the kicking game with both Florence williams and Gemma Rowland to capitalise on the space in the backfield. Wasps will be pleased that their intensity and precision continued as replacements were made, with the whole squad contributing to the outstanding performance.
Back at the top of the development league, Wasps will now host second place Saracens at Twyford Avenue next weekend. With a three-point lead over Saracens in the table, a win could give Wasps breathing room as we enter the latter stages of the season.