Wasps beat Bath for first win of the season

Bath throw the ball in at the line out

Wasps earned their first victory of the new Aviva Premiership season by beating Bath 16-9 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Eleven of Wasps 16 points were scored by Jimmy Gopperth and their remaining points came froma penalty try.

In driving rain the first half was a war of attrition with the ball spending most of its time in the air. Both sides were looking to find territory with the boot rather than through running rugby.

The Wasps defence was fantastic throughout, keeping the visitors at bay. Their forwards and in particular England’s Joe Launchbury excelled, nullifying the potent attacking threats of George Ford, Kyle Eastmond and Anthony Watson.

Perhaps on a different day Bath could have posed more of a threat to the Wasps defence if the conditions had allowed them to play more running rugby.

The first penalty attempt of the match came from Tom Homer in the sixth minute, the full-back going for the posts from far out wide on the left but his kick drifted wide.

Wasps took the lead with first score of the match coming in the 21st minute through a penalty from Jimmy Gopperth.

In the 29th minute Bath were awarded a penalty on the 22-metre line, 15 metres in from the left. Fly-half George Ford stepped up to level the scores.

Soon after, the home side were ahead once more – Gopperth with another successful penalty kick five minutes before the break.

Gopperth missed two penalties in quick succession immediately after half-time though as Wasps built up the pressure on the visitors’ defence, looking to press home their advantage.

The key moment of the match came in the 53rd minute, sustained pressure from the hosts ended in a turnover ball from the visitors.

In trying to clear his lines Bath’s scrum-half Niko Matawalu saw his kick charged down by Nathan Hughes.

The Fijian took down the onrushing Wasps number eight and after deliberation with the TMO, referee Craig Maxwell awarded a penalty try and a yellow card to Matawalu.

Gopperth added the conversion to see the home side take a 13-3 lead with their opponents down to 14 men.

Six minutes later the visitors conceded a penalty at the scrum which Gopperth successfully scored extending his side’s lead to 13 points.

On 66 minutes Bath clawed back three points through the boot of Ford to cut the deficit to ten points.

The 22-year-old added another three points to bring his side within seven of the opposition and earn a bonus point for his side, as Wasps ran out 16-9 winners.

Final Score Wasps (6) 16 Bath (3) 9

Scorers 

Wasps
Try: Penalty
Con: Gopperth
Pens: Gopperth 3

Bath
Pen: Ford 3

Match Officials
Referee :Craig Maxwell-Keys. (5th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff and Peter Allan.
TMO: David Grashoff.

Teams

Wasps

15. Rob Miller, 14. Christian Wade, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Ben Jacobs, 11. Frank Halai, 10. Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Joe Simpson, 1. Matt Mullan, 2. Carlo Festuccia, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. James Gaskell, 6. James Haskell (c), 7. George Smith, 8. Nathan Hughes

Replacements : 16. Ashley Johnson, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Lorenzo Cittadini, 19. Kearnan Myall, 20. Sam Jones, 21. Dan Robson, 22. Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Sailosi Tagicakibau

Bath

15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 George Ford, 9 Niko Matawalu, 1 Nick Auterac, 2 Ross Batty, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 6 Matt Garvey, 7 Alafoti Faosiliva, 8 Leroy Houston

Replacements:16 Rob Webber, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Dave Wilson, 19 Dom Day, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Matt Banahan

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