Logan's lethal streak

Wasps 62 Orrell 5
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The Independent Online
Another example of the correlation between points scored and money in the bank although how full-time professionalism can be sustained by the smattering of spectators at Sudbury yesterday beats me. We are talking League leaders here, yet it is doubtful if there were 1,500 witnessing the massacre.

But to return to the original point. It was a mere five years ago that Orrell came to the ground and were literally within a second of clinching the league title. Had Dewi Morris found touch with what would have been the final act of the match, Orrell would have won by two points. But he missed, Huw Davies dropped a goal from 47 yards and Orrell finished the season in second place behind Bath.

This season they will almost certainly be relegated. They have opted for prudent stewardship rather than the financial lunacy which has gripped so many clubs in English rugby but the short-term cost to Orrell will be a savage blow to their pride.

Their pride certainly took a battering yesterday as did their overstretched defence. They conceded nine tries, five of them to Kenny Logan, the Scotsman playing only his second match for the club.

After only 30 minutes of continuously one-way traffic towards the Orrell line, Wasps led 44-0 having scored six tries, the most spectacular by Logan, the most bizarre by Nick Greenstock.

Logan's try, which fittingly brought up his hat-trick was the creation of the Wasps full-back Gareth Rees with what has become his trademark. He sent one of his booming trans-Atlantic specials spiralling half-way across the field into Logan's arms.

Earlier Greenstock had been gifted a try when Alex King, who fits so snugly into the profile of the ideal fly-half, had harnessed the wind with a mighty kick out of defence which carried over the Orrell line. Jim Naylor, who had tracked back stood transfixed while Greenstock, who had been following up more in hope than in expectation, pounced for the try.

Orrell who, until this point, had not known whether to laugh or cry, now got the message. The crying game has become a crying shame for all of us who have nothing but admiration for the self-made club holed up in that most hospitable of lay-bys off the M6. They have contributed richly to the English game over the years and no one wishes them the indignity they are now suffering.

By half-time Wasps had reached the half-century with Rees converting six of the seven tries scored and adding a penalty. He is as natural a kicker of the ball as King is a fly-half. One classic break when the contest still had the semblance of a competitive edge evoked memories of the days when Richard Sharp used to open up defences with languid ease.

If the ball moved more often Logan's way, Shane Roiser on the other wing displayed breathtaking pace and Lawrence Dallaglio, who has been laid low by a debilitating illness, was the very model of a fast supporting athletically gifted flank forward. It was from his cleverly floated pass that Logan got his second try.

Facing the wind in the second half and with their minds set on the more testing matches ahead, Wasps understandably eased off.

Orrell had managed to cross Wasps' line at the end of the first half when Nigel Heslop scored, but despite spirited efforts they could not improve on it. Instead Roiser, given the ball inside his own 22, set off into the distance at blistering pace to score his second try which was followed soon afterwards by Logan's fifth.

The main activity throughout the final quarter came from both benches with replacements coming on at regular intervals. By now Wasps were simply going through the motions.

For them, there are more important challenges ahead. For Orrell the challenge will simply be to survive.

Wasps: G Rees (J Ufton, 64); S Roiser, N Greenstock, R Henderson, K Logan; A King, A Gomarsall (M Wood, 60-64); D Molloy, S Mitchell (K Dunn, 64), W Green, M Greenwood, A Reed (R Kinsey, 70), L Dallaglio (capt), M White, P Scrivener.

Orrell: S Taberner (W Munroe, 68); J Naylor, D Lyon (capt), L Tuigamala (P Hamer, 35), N Heslop; M McCarthy, S Cook; M Worsley, N Hitchin (A Moffatt, 57), S Turner, P Rees (C Brierly, 68), C Cusani, P Anglesea, R Higgs, A Bennett.

Referee: T Spreadbury (Somerset).