Wasps fall just short in epic encouter with Harlequins
By Sam Rourke
Wasps fell to an agonising 17-13 defeat against Harlequins at Twyford Avenue
Wasps fell to an agonising 17-13 defeat against Harlequins at Twyford Avenue. In a closely fought encounter, the visitors just edged Wasps on the scoreboard despite a monumental performance from the hosts. Wasps came close to sealing an important win at the final whistle, but the visitors held on to claim victory.
Wasps controlled the early parts of the game, keeping the visitors pinned deep inside their own half with excellent defensive work. The pressure told after 10 minutes as Claudia MacDonald got the opening score of the game. After collecting the ball from an overthrown lineout from the visitors, she used her strength to fend off two defenders before crossing for her eighth try of the season.
The pressure continued but a handful of penalties gave the visitors their first foray into Wasps territory. Ellie Green kicked the resulting penalty to put Harlequins on the scoreboard.
The visitors took the lead after 25 minutes with an intercept from Jess Breach. After looking to attack out wide, the England winger picked off a pass and raced away to give Harlequins a 10-5 lead.
Harlequins looked to establish a foothold but Lizzie Goulden’s kicking from hand kept them pinned back. Wasps were back on the front foot just before half-time as the forwards continued to threaten to cross the whitewash. After a number of phases, the ball was shifted out wide for Abby Dow to score her second try in as many weeks. The scores level at 10-10 at the break.
Harlequins were applying pressure early on in the second half but Wasps defence was equal to it. The first points of the half didn’t come till the hour mark as Lizzie Goulden kicked a penalty, the hosts taking a three-point lead.
The visitors regained the lead with three minutes left to play through Chloe Butler after spending, what felt like an eternity to the passionate crowds at Twyford Avenue, camped 5m out from the Wasps line. Despite an incredible effort to repel the visitors, after a number of reset scrums they eventually crossed to take the lead.
Wasps continued to battle and spent the closing moments of the game knocking at the Harlequins try line. The entire squad built up the phases edging closer and closer to a winning score. Despite showing great patience, the ball was eventually spilt forward with the try line begging, consigning Wasps to an agonising defeat.
Wasps will go into the Six Nations break in fourth place just ahead of Gloucester-Hartpury. The two sides meet in the penultimate round on 23rd March, with Wasps knowing a win will all but seal their spot in the playoffs.