Wasps’ miserable Premiership results streak ended when they won a game with nine attempts against Bath at the Ricoh Arena. The hosts had lost nine of their previous 11 games, but survived a strong second-half recovery from Bath for a morale-boosting victory.
Thomas Young scored two of his attempts, while Josh Bassett, Michael Le Bourgeois and Paolo Odogwu delivered the others, and Jacob Umaga added two penalties and four conversions.
Miles Reid, Josh McNally, Beno Obano and Ben Spencer scored Bath’s attempts while Orlando Bailey added a penalty and three conversions.
In his 150th appearance with the club, hooker Tom Dunn led Bath, but they soon fell behind as Young celebrated his 100th appearance in the league for the Wasps by finishing a driving lineout.
The hosts should have had a second try when winger Rob Miller made a clean break but, with the line waving, his inside pass failed to find Dan Robson’s support. Young’s try was therefore the only result of a difficult first quarter, with both sides making elementary handling errors to avoid any flow in the game.
The Wasps temporarily lost Wales international padlock Will Rowlands due to a blood injury and suffered another blow when Umaga missed with a 45-meter penalty attempt.
Bath was second-best for most of the opening period, so it was against the march when they tied in the 29th minute with a try from wing Reid, who drove from a five-meter lineout.
The Wasps took a heavy hit when their captain Joe Launchbury was helped off the field with a leg injury, but they should have regained the advantage when Odogwu burst into defense. However, the wing chose to go it alone and the opportunity was lost.
Minutes later, Umaga received a kick similar to the first and this time made no mistake before running the run to provide Bassett with a 35-meter roll for Wasps’ second attempt. Umaga’s conversion on the touchline gave her team a deserved 15-5 lead at halftime.
Five minutes after the restart, Bailey shot a single penalty, but the home team responded immediately with a cleverly crafted third attempt. In a fluid movement that covered 50 meters, Umaga and Malakai Fekitoa effectively combined to send Le Bourgeois, but Bath was again in conflict when McNally crashed at close range.
Bath signed Spencer in scrum-half to replace Will Chudley, but the hosts took the next score with a second penalty from Umaga.
The visiting group was becoming increasingly dominant and Bath was rewarded with a third down as replacement Obano fought his way to lead his team to three points.
Bath then moved on for the only time in the match when the impressive Reid burst in to send Spencer in for the bonus points attempt.
Obano was fired for a high challenge before the last attempts by Young and Odogwu earned the Wasps a second victory this season over their opponents.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism