Walder and Simpson combine to get Wasps' Cup charge buzzing

Wasps 38 Glasgow 26
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The Independent Online

David Walder reminded Europe of his undoubted quality as Wasps made it 15 Heineken Cup ties unbeaten at Adams Park yesterday.

The former England fly-half, in tandem with incisive scrum-half Joe Simpson, had too much grey matter for a Glasgow side so often found wanting both in the scrum and in adjusting to the referee at the breakdown.

Walder kicked 18 points and was at the core of a performance comprising four tries and therefore a bonus point to keep their European ambitions very much alive. At times Glasgow threatened to rein in the hosts but every time their excellent fly-half Ruaridh Jackson scored – he claimed 21 points – an indiscretion presented Walder with a penalty to keep Wasps clear of danger.

The Wasps rugby director, Tony Hanks, said the victory was extra-special in terms of long-term ambitions. "We had to win this one because you cannot afford to go none from two games at this level." he said. "Victory puts us in a very good position because we only just lost at Toulouse last week."

Glasgow's head coach Sean Lineen pulled no punches. "We were pretty poor in the first 20 minutes, our scrum was not as good as it should have been and we conceded soft tries," he said.

"I'm very disappointed to leave with nothing considering all the ball we had in the final 15 minutes. That period when we hammered away at their defence, we really should have earned at least a losing bonus point."

Glasgow got a taste of things to come after only eight minutes. Joe Simpson fed a scrum, snaffled the emerging ball at the base and sped off on a break up the right, scoring with a dive by the flag despite the attentions of Colin Gregor and Federico Aramburu. Walder missed the conversion, and also his second attempt on goal, a penalty from close to half-way on 13 minutes that faded to the right of the posts.

To ram home the importance of such generosity, Glasgow capitalised on their first real invasion of home territory in the 17th minute, Jackson driving a penalty awarded for offside high between the posts.

However, Walder made amends two minutes later. Wasps were again dominant in the scrum, referee Pascal Gauzere penalising Glasgow's collapse and the fly-half made it third time lucky with the boot. He struck again in the 21st minute, this time with an angled penalty from the right. Glasgow's scrum problems increased three minutes later when tighthead Moray Low was dispatched to the bin after one offence too many.

The next scrum summed the game up. Glasgow buckled, Simpson fired the ball out to Walder whose cunning chip through the defence was gathered by Tom Varndell who scored the 78th domestic and European try of his career after 26 minutes. Walder's conversion was successful.

Just when you felt the roof was about to fall in, Glasgow rallied to score a fine try of their own. Driving upfield, captain John Barclay exposed the flatness of Wasps' defence, steering a clever kick beyond them for Jackson to run round behind the posts to make his own conversion simple.

Wasps were still reorganising when Richie Gray earned a penalty at the breakdown, and Jackson reduced the arrears further. But the referee was hammering the Scottish side at the breakdown, awarding an eighth penalty against them on 35 minutes, which Walder steered home.

Just before half-time Ben Jacobs scored Wasps third try after throwing a couple of dummies that carved open the defence, Walder converting. Jackson and Walder exchanged goals early in the second half, but Wasps saved their best try for fourth in the 63rd minute. Walder made the pass, Riki Flutey made the break, Dan Ward-Smith carried on and Dominic Waldouck executed the score that earned Wasps a valuable Pool Six bonus point that leaves them two points behind leaders Toulouse. Dougie Hall burst through in the 67th minute for a try against the run of play, Jackson converting.

Scorers: Wasps: Tries Simpson, Varndell, Jacobs, Waldouck; Conversions Walder 3; Penalties Walder 4. Glasgow: Tries Jackson, Hall; Conversions Jackson 2; Penalties Jackson 4.

Wasps: R Haughton (Van Gisbergen, 41); T Varndell, B Jacobs (Waldouck, 46), R Flutey, D Lemi; D Walder, J Simpson; C Beech, R Webber (Ward, 61), Z Taulafo (Broster, 64), S Shaw (Worsley, 64), R Birkett (Veale, 77), D Ward-Smith, A Powell, S Betsen (capt).

Glasgow: B Stortoni (Pyrgos, 60); D van der Merwe, M Evans, G Morrison, F Aramburu (Dewey, 46); R Jackson, C Gregor; J Welsh (Grant, 64), F Thomson (Hall, 41), M Low (Kalman, 57), T Ryder (Forrester, 57), R Gray, R Harley, R Vernon (Wilson, 70), J Barclay (capt).

Referee: P Gauzere (France)

* The Heineken Cup holders Toulouse delivered a workmanlike performance to win 40-19 at Newport-Gwent Dragons on Saturday. It was only the French club's eighth win from 15 European starts on Welsh soil, and they were indebted to a kicking masterclass from fly-half David Skrela who got 19 points.