Wasps moved up to sixth in the Aviva Premiership with a 40-10 win over the Newcastle Falcons at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday. Buoyed by their recent improved performances and the return of Kyle Eastmond, the home team were dominant from the start scoring six tries and moved above their opponents in the table as a result.
For Newcastle it was their third defeat on the bounce in the league, and means they slip to ninth despite topping the table at one point earlier this season. Only in a short period before half-time, did they ever really look in the game, in which Sean Robinson went over for their only try.
The game began wonderfully for Wasps as they were ahead inside two minutes. Jimmy Gopperth put Kyle Eastmond into a gap and the returning centre raced away, before feeding Christian Wade for the games opening try. Gopperth converted and Wasps had the perfect start.
The Falcons, stunned into action responded well. Following a spell in the Wasps 22, they won a penalty straight in front of the posts, and Toby Flood made no mistake to get the visitors on the scoreboard.
However it did not take long for Wasps to strike again. This time Willie Le Roux the catalyst, who’s excellent line and offload put Wade in for his second try and despite Gopperth’s missed conversion, Wasps had two tries inside ten minutes and were in control.
The home side then added a third. Kyle Eastmond spotted a gap in the Falcons defence after a dummy , and used his blistering pace to fly over in the corner. Gopperth was this time successful in his conversion and at 19-3 Wasps were rampant.
Another try would have surely killed the game of their and then but the Falcons began to grow into the game. An excellent tackle from Wade prevented Gary Graham from scoring from the Falcons. Though they did get back into the game before half-time. Simon Hammersley broke well, and a few phases later Sean Robinson went over after an exquisite line from Josh Matavesi. Flood converted and the Falcons had cut the gap to nine points.
They almost added another before the interval. Winger Sinoti Sinoti found some space down the left hand side but an excellent tackle from Kyle Eastmond prevented a further Falcons score. Unfortunately the Wasps centre was injured in the process and his return to the side was cut short inside forty minutes. The score remained 19-10 as referee Mathew O’Grady blew for half-time.
Dai Young would have been worried at the interval about how his side had let the Falcons back into the game. However just four minutes into the second half his team had secured the bonus point. A sustained spell of pressure allowed Thomas Young to offload to James Haskell and the England international made no mistake in scoring Wasps fourth try. Gopperth added the extras and at 26-10 the Falcons chances were hanging by a thread.
Willie Le Roux thought he had added another try for Wasps but TMO Trevor Fisher adjudged that Ashley Johnson’s pass to the South African was forward, and Newcastle just about remained in the game. Though just before sixty minute mark, Wasps finished sealed the win. Replacement Joe Simpson broke from a scrum, he fed Jimmy Gopperth who’s over the top pass found Gabiriele Lovobalavu in what was the games best try so far. Gopperth once again was successful with his conversion and Wasps had all but secured their first win at the Ricoh in the league since the opening day of the season.
The crowd of over 16,000 had been treated to an exhilarating performance from Wasps, and the best was saved to last. Newcastle lost the ball inside Wasps 22 and the hosts went the length of the pitch for their sixth try. Rob Miller began the move which was finished superbly from half way by the ever impressive Josh Bassett. Gopperth ended his good night from the tee with another conversion and Wasps had forty points on the board.
The final score of 40-10 a thoroughly deserved one for last years Premiership finalists, and they will look to win their third game in a row in the league when they travel to London Irish on Sunday. The Falcons will look to get their season back on track when they host Gloucester on Friday night.