Van Gisbergen breaks spell

Gloucester 17 Wasps 27
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The Independent Online


Wasps Needed to win and score four tries to claim a bonus point and go top of the Premiership, at a packed Kingsholm last night. Although the bonus point narrowly eluded them, victory did not, and they became the first side to defeat Gloucester on their own patch in more than a year, to move up to second in the table. They did so by virtue of their ability to make the most of their limited chances, allied to an almost impenetrable defence.



Wasps Needed to win and score four tries to claim a bonus point and go top of the Premiership, at a packed Kingsholm last night. Although the bonus point narrowly eluded them, victory did not, and they became the first side to defeat Gloucester on their own patch in more than a year, to move up to second in the table. They did so by virtue of their ability to make the most of their limited chances, allied to an almost impenetrable defence.

Gloucester made it plain from the start that if the game was to be decided by an attritional battle between the forwards, they were up for it.

In one delicious moment, which had the Shed faithful in full cry, Wasps won a scrum by wheeling Gloucester through 90 degrees. Well pleased they may have been at that significant measure of one-upmanship, it was not to last as the Gloucester forwards shoved Wasps off their own ball and marched them 30 metres back towards their own goalline. For all Gloucester's intense pressure, an absorbing contest remained scoreless at half time.

The spell was broken when Mark van Gisbergen sparked a move in which Matt Dawson, James Brooks and Peter Richards combined sweetly to send Simon Shaw across. Although Simon Amor, who had replaced Brad Davies, popped over a penalty, Dawson and Brooks created the space for Ayoola Erinle to touch down.

Van Gisbergen converted both scores and, at 14-3 with 14 minutes remaining, Wasps should have closed out the game. But with Trevor Leota in the sin-bin, Adam Balding gave Gloucester hope with a try. But two more van Gisbergen penalties and the conversion of Edd Thrower's try sealed it, Amor's touchdown late in stoppage-time being a mere consolation.

* Harlequins recorded their first win of the season in convincing fashion with a 40-10 triumph over Saracens.

Gloucester: Tries Balding, Amor; Conversions Amor 2; Penalty Amor. Wasps: Tries Shaw, Erinle, Thrower; Conversions Van Gisbergen 3; Penalties Van Gisbergen 2.

Gloucester: J Goodridge; M Garvey, N Mauger, T Fanolua, J Bailey; B Davies (S Amor 47), A Page; C Bezuidenhout, C Fortey, P Vickery (G Powell 40), A Eustace, M Cornwell, P Buxton (J Forrester 51), J Boer (capt), A Balding.

Wasps: M van Gisbergen; E Thrower, P Richards, A Erinle, T Voyce; J Brooks, M Dawson; C Dowd, P Greening (T Leota 53), T Payne (W Green 53), S Shaw, R Birkett, J Hart, T Rees (Greening 59; M Lock 70), L Dallaglio (capt).

Referee: S Lander (Warrington).

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