Wasps continued their semi-final preparations with a 33-13 victory in a friendly with Irish side, Railway Union. The game was the first of its kind between a Premier 15s side and an All-Ireland League side. The home side put in an impressive performance on both sides of the ball. They ran in four tries with a well composed backline as well as a strong defensive performance to hold Railway to just one try.
After an opening penalty for the visitors, Wasps got their first two tries. The first coming from Claire Purdy (Sponsored by JHA Recruitment), who managed to pick the ball up off the floor and carry well over the line.
Just five minutes after, the backline connected well to create space out wide for Tova Derk who got stopped just short. Andrea Stock was on hand to drive over from close range to give the hosts a 12-3 lead.
After both sides exchanged penalties, Wasps finished the half on top with their third score. Another well worked move off first phase sent Abby Dow down the sideline, she had the pace and footwork to finish in the corner. The touchline conversion from Lizzie Goulden gave the hosts a 22-6 lead at the break.
The visitors held possession well for large periods of the second half and gave Wasps plenty of defensive work to do. The line was finally broken just before the hour mark by Katie O’Dwyer.
The final few minutes epitomised the spirit the game was played in as both sides looked to attack from deep, with some end to end rugby played.
In the final phase Cliodhna Moloney, who had a brilliant game against her former club, made a 40m break downfield to put Wasps within scoring distance. Mica Evans was on hand to finish the move a few phases later as she was driven over the line.
The game was played in a fantastic spirit and provided a stern test for both sides ahead of their semi-finals next weekend. Wasps clinical finishing when close to the try line and resolute defensive work resulted in a strong result.
Wasps have built a strong head of steam in recent weeks in important games. With victories over Gloucester-Hartpury at Kingsholm, Bristol Bears at the Big Swarm and now against one of the strongest All-Ireland league sides, they have gained some vital momentum. They now travel to Allianz Park for a Tyrell’s Premier 15s semi-final against league leaders Saracens.