Gloucester Rugby add more woe to London Wasps

Fullback Willie Walker provided a try, conversion and three penalty kicks as he helped Gloucester to a 24-19 win over London Wasps on Saturday in their EDF Energy Cup opener.

The London side made an amazing 14 changes to their starting line-up from the weekend, taking the opportunity to rest a number of their first team regulars. Despite that though they would have been confident that the team they put out could get the required result.

French loose forward Serge Betsen enjoyed his first start for his new team while England flanker James Haskell also returned to the side of the scrum.

Gloucester coach Dean Ryan was counting his wounded before the game after a tough series of matches but was able to start England’s Mike Tindall and Lesley Vainikolo.

New Zealander Mark “Sharky’ Robinson started at scrumhalf for Wasps and opened the scoring in the 5th minute. Flyhalf Jeremy Staunton missed the conversion but the visitors had the early advantage.

Gloucester’s Walker got his team on the board for the first time with 17 minutes gone when he converted a penalty.

Staunton missed an opportunity to strike straight back and, following a Ryan Lamb drop goal, Wasps were behind.

Things got a lot worse for the current Guinness Premiership champions three minutes later though when the powerful Vainikolo stormed over for the game’s second try and Gloucester’s first. Walker though missed the conversion and Wasps were still within a converted try.

The two kickers then traded penalties before, just two minutes before the break, Haskell stormed over for Wasps. Staunton again was unsuccessful with the extra two points and his side headed to half time with just one point separating them from the hosts.

Seven minutes into the second half and Walker crossed the line for Gloucester’s second try and his conversion gave them an eight point lead. That lead was soon cut down to five when Staunton slotted his second penalty of the day.

Both managers began to use their bench as the game entered its final quarter but Wasps remained five points adrift as Staunton missed yet another chance at goal.

Walker increased his personal tally for the day to 16 when he converted another penalty and, with just ten minutes left on the clock, the home side led by eight points.

Substitute Dave Walder added a late penalty for the visitors but it was not enough. The final score was a fair reflection of a tight game but one which Gloucester probably deservedly won in the end.


Final Score Gloucester 24-19 Wasps




Tries: Vainikolo, Walker
Cons: Walker
Pens: Walker 3
Drop G: Lamb

Tries: Robinson, Haskell
Pens: Staunton 2, Walder


Gloucester: Walker; Foster, Adams, Tindall (capt), Vainikolo; Lamb, R Lawson; Dickinson, Azam, Young, Bortolami, Brown, Satala, Hazell, Strokosch.
Replacements: S Lawson, Thomas, Buxton, Eustace, Lewis, Trinder, Morgan.

Wasps: Mitchell; Odejobi, Waldouck, Hoadley, Voyce; Staunton, Robinson; French, Webber, Holford, Shaw, Birkett, Haskell, Betsen, Worsley (capt).
Replacements: Ibanez, Beech, Varley, Hart, Reddan, Walder, Leo.

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