David Ashdown's Sports Picture Diary: Wasps v Gloucester

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The Independent Online

It was a beautiful day on Saturday at the Wasps v Gloucester match, not only in terms of the weather, but also in terms of the rugby from a photographer's point of view.

The match was very one sided. Wasps won 34-3. Not particularly great for pictures you might think, but when one team dominates, there are often lots of tries.

I was covering the Gloucester attack during the first half, which meant I was unemployed for a lot of the time. I stayed where I was for the second half as by then there was only one team in the game.

Wasps share Adams Park with Wycombe Wanderers FC - it's quite a small ground, with a capacity of about 12,000. There are advertising boards all round the pitch, and the photographic positions are between the boards, with the crowd right behind us. The fans tend to hang over the boards eating and drinking during the match, which meant I ended up with an assortment of biscuits and smokey bacon crisps all over me! The more excited the fans got the more scraps that would tumble down from the stands. I must remember my hat next time!

As usual I was using two Nikon D3s, one with a 70-200 F2.8 zoom lens the other a 500mm F4.0 lens. This picture of Riki Flutey scoring his second try, which was taken at 1/000 second at F4.0 on the 500mm lens, happened very fast. Betsen had gone over the line but let go of the ball just before he crossed it. For a few seconds it looked like a try and a good picture - elevation and deflation for both him and me.

The ball was then played back up the pitch but intercepted by Flutey, who as you can see, dived through two Gloucester players, creating a spectacular try. I'm just glad I was concentrating when the play changed. Things in sport can change so quickly, it's so easy to miss the moment.

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