Andrew in the wars

Wasps 6

Bath 15

IF, as seems highly likely, the league championship is as good as won - with Bath having beaten their two principal rivals, Leicester and Wasps, away from home - may we now suspend the rest of the club season to spare ourselves from further punishment? This was a dreadful match, quite the worst of what has been a dismal opening to the season. The quality of the play from two of the best sides in the land offered yet more evidence of how quickly the game is sinking and those who believe that it can survive in its present form in the professional arena are living in a fantasy world.

Not all of the blame can be attached to the players. It is the laws and, more important, the way they are being applied, which are chiefly responsible. But yesterday Ed Morrison, the world's premier referee, was not alone in having a poor match.

But however painful it was to watch no one can have enjoyed the afternoon less than Rob Andrew. One calamity followed another, ending two minutes from the end when he was led off the field bleeding and dazed following a collision with Ben Clarke which needed 14 stitches in his forehead and mouth. That Andrew's misfortune should have resulted from a woeful pass by his partner Steve Bates was in keeping with the general tone of the match.

By this time Andrew, poor man, was thoroughly distraught. He had missed six penalty kicks at goal from seven attempts, had had four drop kicks charged down and, worse still, had watched in helpless disbelief as Andy Robinson , a brooding shadow over all that England's fly half attempted, charged down a drop out on the 22. From the scrummage underneath the Wasps posts, Bath ran the ball left and Jeremy Guscott's pass allowed Adedayo Adebayo to slide in at the corner. The Bath wing scored a second just before the end despite, not because of, the passing of those inside him. It was that kind of game, which, alas, is becoming more the rule than the exception.

That Bath should have won was in itself a travesty. They had surrendered almost all the territorial advantage and had remained in touch through robust defence and the sheer incompetence of the Wasps attack. In that area Andrew could be largely absolved of blame. One lost count of the times the Wasps' threequarters, with overlaps beckoning, turned back inside. They were not alone in that. Twice Guscott did exactly the same thing, which does nothing to allay fears that, in attack, this gifted player is a spent force.

Wasps' curious belief that they could bludgeon Bath to defeat through the scrummage persisted throughout the match despite the fact that David Hilton proved a formidable barrier in his unaccustomed position at tight- head. Nigel Redman and Martin Haag may not be the greatest line-out exponents but their street cred in all the other areas of play remains impeccable and wherever the action was thickest and fiercest there was Haag and the gleaming reflection from Redman's follicle free zone.

Jon Callard and Andrew swapped penalties in the first half and, before Adebayo's tries, Andrew did manage a drop goal although even this glanced off an opponent on its way over the bar. Unfortunately Andrew's bad co- ordination was matched by the person responsible for the newcomers' scheme on the Wasps' jersey which was garish orange rather than bright yellow. But that, at the moment, is the least of Wasps' worries.

Wasps: J Ufton; P Hopley, D Hopley, A James (A Gomarsall, 65-70), S Roiser; R Andrew (Gomarsall, 78), S Bates; N Popplewell, K Dunn, I Dunston, M Greenwood, D Ryan (capt), L Dallaglio, M White, P Scrivener.

Bath: J Callard; A Lumsden, P de Glanville (capt), J Guscott, A Adebayo; M Catt, A Nicol; K Yates, G Dawe, D Hilton, M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, S Ojomoh, B Clarke.

Referee: E Morrisson (Gloucester).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Supervisor

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to become a part of a mot...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - ASP.Net, C#

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business IT support compan...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project