Wasps inspired first-half seals 26-10 victory against Gloucester-Hartpury
By Sam Rourke
Wasps produced some outstanding rugby in the first half at Twyford Avenue to put themselves out of reach of Gloucester-Hartpury
Wasps produced some outstanding rugby in the first half at Twyford Avenue to put themselves out of reach of Gloucester-Hartpury. Despite a ferocious fightback from the visitors, Wasps resolute defence held firm to seal a 26-10 victory against another play-off contender.
Wasps looked dangerous in the opening encounters, with outstanding handling despite bitterly cold conditions. The first score came from a brilliant first phase move, as a great wrap around and dummy from Lizzie Goulden created a gap for Kendall Templeman to dart through under the posts.
After a tight middle period of the first half, Wasps worked themselves into a strong position. With a lineout 10m from the Gloucester line, a strong driving maul drove the visitors back with Kate Hallett (Sponsored by Inspire Hot Yoga) finishing the score.
Wasps looked to build on their lead with two more scores before the half. The Wasps scrum proving a huge weapon for the hosts as they won the ball against the head for the second time in quick succession. The turnover ball was spread wide quickly, and excellent hands down the touchline ended up putting Kate Hallett (Sponsored by Inspire Hot Yoga) over for her second score.
The final score of the half started with a well-placed crossfield kick from Katie Mason, which was collected at speed by Kendall Templeman. Outstanding offloading in midfield found captain Kate Alder (Sponsored by PSB Industries) who won the footrace to score. The hosts leading 26-0 at the break.
Wasps started the second half brightly but failed to turn their possession into points. Gloucester however initiated a powerful fightback on the 50-minute mark. After a long spell inside the Wasps 22m, a strong scrum from the visitors saw Sian Williams dot the ball down at the base.
Gloucester scored again shortly afterwards as they pounced on a loose ball, before going wide for Sophie Tandy to race into the corner.
Despite constant pressure from the visitors for the remainder of the game, Wasps resolute defence continued to repel Gloucester. Excellent work at the breakdown stopped the visitors gaining ground and huge tackling on the touchline continued to keep Gloucester at bay.
It could prove a vital victory for Wasps at home to another side in play-off contention. They proved a real threat with ball in hand in the first half, with the backline connecting well to play some champagne rugby, and the forwards not only showing their dominance at the set piece, but also in the loose. However, with huge pressure applied in the second half, Wasps will be pleased to have put in a huge defensive shift to keep the visitors to two tries.
Wasps now face a huge challenge as they travel to top of the table and unbeaten Loughborough Lightning as they seek to topple the leaders and put right some of the errors from their first game of the season at Ealing Trailfinders.