Wasps dominate to earn road win at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
By Sam Rourke
Wasps forwards produced a dominant display to secure a 38-0 victory over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks in bitterly cold conditions
Wasps forwards produced a dominant display to secure a 38-0 victory over Darlington Mowden Park Sharks in bitterly cold conditions. The visitors raced to four tries inside 30 minutes, before a massive defensive effort in the second half to keep the Sharks from scoring.
Wasps were fast out the blocks with a score inside 2 minutes. After pressure immediately from the kick-off, Hannah West read a pass in the Sharks backline and intercepted to run in under the posts.
Just 7 minutes later the visitors were back in for their second score. After a penalty from midfield, Wasps had a lineout 15m out from the DMP line. Raw power from the forwards carried the resulting maul all the way over the try line, with Claire Molloy picking up her 5th try of the season.
Molloy was in again shortly afterwards thanks to solid defensive work and direct running. With great field position from a defensive set, Wasps spread the ball wide and Alice Sheffield carried the ball well into contact. Shifting the ball in the tackle, Claire Molloy broke away from the Sharks defence and raced in for another score.
The Wasps forwards continued to dominate the set piece, with the scrum proving a real weapon for the black and gold. Despite the home side having the put in to a 5m scrum, the Wasps pack bulldozed through the pack, won the ball against the head and drove over the line. Liz Crake was on hand at the base of the scrum to dot the ball down.
Excellent place kicking from Lizzie Goulden slotting all four conversions gave Wasps a 28-0 lead at the break.
The Sharks had a lot of possession early in the second half but Wasps defended valiantly and refused to give any field position to the hosts. That territory paid off with a swerving run from Nolli Waterman breaking inside the DMP 22m. The forwards took over shortly afterwards and another huge carry for Liz Crake saw her score her second of the day.
Wasps scored the final points of the game on the hour mark after showing patience despite being held up by determined Sharks defenders twice. After continually putting pressure on, Tova Derk eventually received the ball out wide and dived in the corner.
With the visitors reduced to 14 with five minutes to go, DMP were inches from getting on the scoreboard, but despite tired bodies, Wasps continued to repel their attack before turning the ball over and maintaining possession till the final whistle.
The result means back-to-back bonus point victories for Wasps, maintaining their position in the play-off spots. They face a tough run-in to Christmas as they travel to Harlequins next week before fixtures against Gloucester-Hartpury and Loughborough Lightning.
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks are consigned to their sixth defeat of the season and remain on nine league points. They’ll look to bounce back quickly as they travel across the width of the country to face Firwood Waterloo next week.