Lewsey has pace to put Bedford in a tailspin

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The Independent Online

At least Bedford could claim the try of the match, a score which had supporters on both sides out of their seats cheering, but the brutal truth of this is that for the remaining 79 minutes they were also-rans.

Wasps' season is picking up and so is their fly-half Alex King's. He kicked a perfect 10 out of 10 for a total of 22 points, while full-back Josh Lewsey, who, like King, has a handful of England appearances to his name and is hungry for more, scored a hat-trick of tries.

Wasps moved another step up the table, and they still have a game in hand, which just happens to be against Bedford at Goldington Road, although victory in that will only be worth two points because it was scheduled to be played during the World Cup. Victories after the tournament were up-graded to three. Bedford, in contrast, remain pointless at the foot of the Allied Dunbar Premiership after their heaviest defeat of the season. They have now conceded more than 500 points.

The impression was always that Bedford were being stretched to the limit either going forward or when defending but for 20 minutes the bulwark held. Indeed Bedford had even sneaked into a slender lead, courtesy of a penalty from Duncan Hughes. However, once King had slotted an equaliser the sluice-gates opened.

Trevor Leota, a dump truck of a player, battered once, twice and thrice against the creaking wall of the Blues' thin line, suddenly Wasps moved the ball wide, King found Rob Henderson and the Ireland centre found the hole.

A line-out presented Mark Weedon with his try and Bedford were doomed. Lewsey burst clear for his first try, Leota then attempted an outrageous drop goal from 40 metres, which sadly did not count because play had already been whistled to a halt.

It mattered not a jot. Lewsey snaked through some non-existent tackling for his second and the conversion saw them to the halfway mark in terms of time and points.

Three yellow cards at the same incident saw Wasps reduced to 14 men when Leota was dismissed temporarily and Bedford to 13 as Virgil Hartland and Ryan Banks were also thrown into the cooler.

On came the England hooker Phil Greening, as a temporary replacement, for his debut. The script writers added a bit of tension because although the home side eventually managed to take advantage of their superiority of numbers, scoring a further 10 points, Bedford had their moment with Paul Sackey's try. Hughes went round the side of a scrum, fed the right wing and Sackey, a former Wasp, scorched upfield for more than 80 metres.

It was a temporary blip though. With practically his first touch Greening took a pass from King on the burst and crashed through unopposed.

King's boot nailed the lid down ever tighter, a second penalty and three more conversions as Simon Shaw thundered over, followed by Lawrence Dallaglio and finally Lewsey's hat-trick try, brought about by a searing right-wing sprint.

Wasps: Tries Henderson, Weedon, Lewsey 3, Greening, Shaw, Dallaglio; Conversions King 8; Penalties King 2. Bedford: Try Sackey; Penalty Hughes.

Wasps: J Lewsey; S Roiser, F Waters (M Denney, 55), R Henderson, K Logan; A King, M Wood; D Molloy (A Le Chevalier, 69), T Leota (P Greening, 64), W Green, M Weedon, S Shaw (A Reed, 66), R Birkett (P Greening, 43-52; E Rollitt, 77), L Dallaglio (capt), P Volley.

Bedford: S Stewart (C Richards, 17-25); P Sackey, A Murdoch (capt), J Connolly, G Truelove; D Hughes (A Thompson, 77), C Harrison (R Elliott, 72); A Black, M Kwisiuk, C Hartland (P Beal, 74), D Zaltzman, C Eagle (D Sims, 58), R Winters, R Banks, M Webber (P Beal, 43-52; F Rossigneux, 66).

Referee: G Ashton-Jones (Royal Navy).