Van Gisbergen hands out reminder

Wasps 53 Edinburgh 17
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The Independent Online

The biggest winner from this seven-try rout was Andy Robinson, the England coach. With the Six Nations looming all the international coaches are fretting about injuries and Robinson could reflect on the sensible omissions of Joe Worsley, Lawrence Dallaglio, Matt Dawson, Stuart Abbott and Josh Lewsey from the Wasps side. Tom Voyce and Mark van Gisbergen did play, and offered less than subtle hints as to their current good form.

Voyce again proved he is a powerful and direct runner when a gap opens up or the line beckons and took his two tries very well while Van Gisbergen, with 17 points including a superb try at the start of the second half, showed why he could provide a real attacking threat from full-back. If Lewsey is pushed into England's midfield, Van Gisbergen may well replace him in the No 15 shirt.

However, there were two errors that gifted Edinburgh tries. The first came from a poor left-footed kick to expose the left flank and the second from a pass that was well intercepted by Francisco Leonelli.

Neither mattered in the grand scheme of things, because Wasps were totally dominant in all areas after a couple of early line-out wobbles. Alistair McKenzie bullied and bulldozed in the scrum and loose, Simon Shaw was effective in open play and Eoin Reddan, a new call-up to the Ireland squad, proved sharp and incisive at scrum-half.

It would be too much to say it was a continuation of a resurgence because Edinburgh were poor, as their coach Todd Blackadder readily admitted. "There were many areas of our play that were disappointing - first-up tackles missed, around the ruck and when we chased kicks our line was fractured," he said.

The feeling from Ian McGeechan and Shaun Edwards, the Wasps coaches, was that the club was getting back to business as usual. That is not business that involves a quarter-final of the Heineken Cup, though."We had a lot of honesty after the defeats and seven weeks ago we discussed what we had to do at the club," explained Edwards, "and I think what you are seeing now is a lot to do with the influence he [McGeechan] has had in that seven weeks. When he came to the club he eased in, quite rightly as we'd won three championships, but now he is more involved. We had the work but were tactically wrong and that is what we have changed."

"Turnovers mainly," said McGeechan when asked what Wasps had suffered from in particular and, ironically given the coach's effusive praise of their full-back, those were exactly what Van Gisbergen provided.

Edwards and McGeechan are aware that the No 15's confidence was knocked by England during the autumn international series, and his form has not been as consistent this season as in the past couple. Their constant praise is a psychological help rather than a clinical assessment. Van Gisbergen is a talented footballer but is prone to error, and it is Robinson's decision as to whether he can be relied upon at Test level.

As for Scotland, Blackadder believes they are improving. "I really think Scotland could cause a few shocks in the Six Nations this year," he said. "We are improving in Scotland, you can see that in the teams and in the individual players."

Wasps: M van Gisbergen (F Waters, 56); P Sackey, A Erinle, R Hoadley, T Voyce; A King, E Reddan; A McKenzie, J Barrett (B Gotting, 56), T Payne (P Bracken, 62), S Shaw (R Birkett, 56), G Skivington, J Haskell, J Hart(capt), J O'Connor.

Edinburgh: H Southwell; R Dewey (M Blair, 69), F Leonelli, M Dey (M Di Rollo, 59), M Pyke; P Godman (D Hodge, 54), R Lawson; D Hewett (C Smith, 68), A Kelly, C Smith (A Dickinson, 34), A Kellock (capt), S Murray (A Strokosch, 70), M Mustchin, S Taylor, A MacDonald (S Cross, 52).

Referee: R Poite (France).

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