Respite for Melville as Wasps end losing streak

Wasps 29 Treviso 24
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Wasps achieved something that before yesterday was beginning to look impossible – they finally managed to put a W after their name. The fact that the precious win came from a scrappy match mattered little to the London side. This scruffy victory ended a run of seven consecutive defeats in Premiership and European games.

Their beleaguered director of rugby, Nigel Melville, while not exactly ecstatic about the way they scraped to victory – the lead changed hands eight times and it was not until the 50th minute that they got their noses in front for the final time and stayed there – was clearly relieved.

"This is very significant. The relief on the faces of the players said it all," said Melville afterwards. "How pretty the win was did not matter. It was good for the team to get the monkey of the losing sequence off their backs. But I do not think one win against Treviso is a reason to become euphoric."

To Wasps went the moral victory as well because they scored the only tries of this Pool 2 match – the first from their teenage debutant Mike Roberts on his first visit to, let alone appearance at, Loftus Road.

But it was poor fare. There was niggle and nagging almost from the start and fights would break out sporadically as frustration boiled over. Wasps had looked rather shapeless early on, while Treviso were quite happy to soak up any pressure that the Londoners applied.

Treviso fly-half Francesco Mazzariol had shaken the home side with a fourth-minute drop goal, to counter Alex King's penalty 60 seconds earlier, to serve warning of Treviso's threat. When that was allied to a referee who was ruthless on the whistle, thereby opening up Wasps to a barrage of penalties from full-back Simon Mason it caused the home side a few jitters. Mason was remarkable; the former Ireland international seemed able to land his kicks from anywhere on the pitch that Wasps chose to infringe.

Wasps, having lost their regular kicker Kenny Logan to a knee injury the day before, had shown themselves ever ready to try something from midfield, but all too often their best efforts were thwarted.

But at least Roberts was able to turn pressure into a try, just after King had landed his first penalty, when he emerged from a mess of bodies to throw himself over the line.

Not until Roberts had been despatched to the sin bin for what was adjudged to be obstruction on Massimiliano Perziano shortly after the start of the second half did Wasps grab back the initiative. Paul Sampson came into the line, sped through a ragged defence, and when eventually brought to a standstill had Joe Worsley on hand to thunder over. Although they slipped behind again, King's last three penalties eventually proved enough.

Wasps: Tries Roberts, Worsley; Conversions King 2; Penalties King 5.

Treviso: Penalties Mason 7; Drop goal Mazzariol.

Wasps: P Sampson; S Roiser, F Waters, M Denney (capt), M Roberts (M Leek, 79); A King, M Wood; C Dowd, T Leota (P Greening, 68), W Green, J Beardshaw (S Shaw, 68), I Jones, M Lock, J Worsley, R Jenkins.

Treviso: S Mason; M Perziano, W Pozzebon, S Magorian, D Dallan (T Vissentin, 55); F Mazzariol (G Preo, 61), P Richards; P Ribbens (G Faliva, 60), A Moscardi (capt), F Properzi (S Costanza, 69), S Campbell (W Visser, 54), A Gritti, F Ongaro, D Edwards (E Pavanello, 74), M Bergamasco (G Faliva 29-38).

Referee: G Borreani (France).