Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Wade lights up Wasps' win

Christian Wade scored a superb try for Wasps in a comfortable victory

Christian Wade offered England head coach Stuart Lancaster a timely reminder of his talents with a superb solo try in Wasps' 29-15 victory over Bath.

The 21-year-old wing danced his way past three Bath defenders on the stroke of half-time to turn the game in the Adams Park outfit's favour - taking them into the Aviva Premiership play-off places in the process.

Wade's sixth Premiership try of the season handed Wasps their sixth win in eight games. Bath had a first-minute try from Nick Abendanon and Michael Claassens' effort shortly afterwards, but Wade's trickery and Stephen Jones' majestic right boot - which gathered 17 points in total - proved too much with Chris Bell's late effort the icing on the cake.

Bath got off to the best possible start with a try after 30 seconds for Abendanon in the corner. The full-back ran down the right touchline, evading two challenges, after catching Jones' high kick on the halfway line. Stephen Donald missed the tough conversion and moments later the visitors were penalised for offside and Jones added three points.

The game erupted when Tom Varndell was sin-binned for an alleged spear tackle on Horacio Agulla. And, after Jones missed a penalty, Bath capitalised on the one-man advantage and Wasps fell further behind on 15 minutes when Claassens bundled over in the corner. Donald converted from the touchline for a 12-3 lead.

Jones, returning to the Wasps starting line-up, struck an easy penalty on 21 minutes and shortly after he notched another to bring the hosts within three points of Bath. Dom Day was then sin-binned for bringing down James Cannon in the air but it was Bath who had the next scoring opportunity. Donald, though, missed his penalty.

Kyle Eastmond nearly forced his way in but Elliot Daly cleared to touch just 20 yards from the line. Daly then missed a penalty before Wade's moment of magic, beating three challenges on his way into the corner after Jones' long pass. Jones converted from the touchline on the Bath 22 for a 16-12 half-time lead.

Within two minutes of the restart Bath had reduced the arrears to one point, with Tom Heathcote, who had replaced Donald at the break, slotting a penalty. Wasps responded well though, a prolonged attack ending with Billy Vunipola driving his way towards the line only for his effort to be ruled out by the TMO.

The dynamic number eight failed to ground the ball but his disappointment was eased on 54 minutes when Jones added his fourth penalty of the game. Francois Louw then snaffled the ball well only for team-mate Dave Wilson to be penalised, with Jones making them pay with another three points to take Wasps seven points clear at 22-15.

Replacement Nicky Robinson missed the chance to put breathing space between the sides with a 69th-minute penalty but Bell's late try, after a neat offload from Joe Simpson, sealed the victory, with Abendanon's sin-binning for a trip ending his afternoon on a sour note.