Wasps 42 Harlequins 23: Wasps go top despite Lewsey's withdrawal with injury

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Wasps went top of the Guinness Premiership with a comprehensive win over Harlequins at Adams Park yesterday, despite the late withdrawal of their England back Josh Lewsey with a hamstring tweak. Quins scored a couple of soft tries late on, but by then Wasps' clinical finishing had put the issue well beyond doubt.

Harlequins were without their former All Black No 10, Andrew Mehrtens, who had knee surgery last week and will be out for between six and eight weeks, but he could not have prevented this defeat.

In truth, Quins were poor. Wasps were willing to attack at every opportunity, but their opponents appeared bereft of ideas and in the first half especially relied on the winger Ugo Monye for the occasional breakaway. Despite that, they managed to lead after 20 minutes.

Quins were also let down by their indiscipline, giving away 20 penalties and losing three players to the sin-bin at various times. During the 30 minutes when they were reduced to 14 men Wasps scored24 points. Few sides recover from that kind of disadvantage.

Wasps were far from perfect. They were guilty of more spills than a fleet of leaky oil tankers. They would knock on, send out a wild pass or just run up a dead end when points or chances appeared to be there for the taking.

There was one exception to that - the winger Paul Sackey, who got off the mark in this campaign with two very well-taken tries. Wasps' last try, however, was scored by their Irish prop Peter Bracken, who tried to create a sizeable crater at one end of the pitch by launching his near-19 stone bulk a couple of feet into the air on the way to his first touchdown for the club.

Wasps: Tries Leo, Hart, Sackey 2, Bracken; Conversions Walder 3, King; Penalties Walder 3. Harlequins: Tries Monye, Easter, Luscombe; Conversions Jarvis; Penalties Jarvis 2.

Wasps: T Voyce; P Sackey, A Erinle, J Staunton, R Hoadley (D Doherty, 35); D Walder (A King, 58), E Reddan (S Amor, 75); T Payne (A McKenzie, 50), R Ibañez (J Ward, 58), P Bracken, S Shaw (T Rees, 58), T Palmer, D Leo, J Worsley, J Hart (capt; J Haskell, 68).

Harlequins: T Williams; U Monye, H Luscombe, M Deane, S Keogh (N Easter, 51-60; G Duffy, 65); A Jarvis, S So'oialo (D Care, 68); C Jones, J Hayter (J Richards, 13-23), R Nebbett (M Ross, 51), J Evans (O Kohn, 60), N Spanghero, A Vos (T Guest 9-16; N Easter 63), P Volley (capt), C Hala'ufia.

Referee: D Pearson (Northumberland).

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