Wasps see off Gloucester to climb to fifth
Wasps completed a hat-trick of Premiership wins with a bonus point 39-22 victory over Gloucester in a pulsating game at the Ricoh Arena.
After wins over Saracens and London Irish, Wasps maintained their impressive form to climb to fifth place in the league table by scoring five tries.
These came from Jack Willis, Jacob Umaga, Josh Bassett, Marcus Watson and Nizaam Carr. Jimmy Gopperth converted four and kicked a penalty with Dan Robson adding a drop goal.
Gloucester responded with tries from Tom Marshall, Ollie Thorley, Lloyd Evans and Billy Twelvetrees with Twelvetrees adding a conversion but it was a fifth consecutive league defeat for them as their season continues to implode.
Wasps opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a spectacular try. Gloucester secured possession from a line-out on half-way but an alert Willis intercepted a pass from Callum Braley to run 50 metres and score.
Gopperth converted before a neat drop goal from Robson gave Wasps a 10-point advantage at the end of an entertaining first quarter.
Despite the scoreline, Gloucester were competing fiercely and they secured a platform in the opposition 22. A well-judged pass from Evans had sent Lewis Ludlow haring away before Wasps picked up a yellow card when centre, Malakai Fekitoa, tackled an opponent without the ball.
However the visitors conceded three penalties in quick succession to allow Wasps to free wheel up the field before scoring their second try.
From a close range line-out, Robson darted to the blindside to provide Bassett was an easy run-in.
Worse was to follow for Gloucester as they soon conceded a third try. An excellent long pass from Lima Sopoaga saw Watson collect and run 30 metres. The wing passed inside to Umaga, who easily side-stepped Louis Rees-Zammit to score.
Fekitoa returned just in time to see Gloucester score two tries in quick succession. First Marshall ran strongly to beat off a tackle from Watson to score before another powerful burst from the full-back gave Thorley the chance to race in from 30 metres.
Marshall was certainly in the centre of the action as he was then sin-binned for tackling Sopoaga without the ball and Wasps immediately capitalised with a Carr try from a driving line-out.
Gloucester trailed 29-10 at the interval but they picked up the first score of the second half when Mark Atkinson’s run set up a try for Twelvetrees.
Wasps responded with the eighth try of the game as Umaga’s long pass sent Watson over but it was soon nine when Evans dummied his way over for Gloucester’s bonus point.
At that stage there were still 22 minutes remaining but at last the game drew breath and Gopperth’s penalty was the only score of the final quarter.