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Wasps sting Saracens with brilliant performance

Published 14/02/2016

Jimmy Gopperth crosses for one of Wasps' eight tries
Jimmy Gopperth crosses for one of Wasps' eight tries

Wasps climbed into the top four of the Premiership in style as an eight-try blitz stunned league leaders Saracens in a 64-23 triumph at Allianz Park.

The visitors were simply sublime as they raced into a 19-0 lead inside 10 minutes, had the four-try bonus point wrapped up midway through the first half and notched a fourth consecutive league win for the first time since the 2012/13 season.

With Billy Vunipola impressing during the early stages of the Six Nations, Wasps No.8 Nathan Hughes - who qualifies for England on June 27 - may well have given Red Rose coach Eddie Jones some long-term food for thought as he played the role of Sarries' tormentor-in-chief.

The Fiji-born powerhouse scored two tries, as did Charles Piutau and Dan Robson, while Thomas Young and Jimmy Gopperth also crossed the whitewash for Wasps.

Brad Barritt and Jim Hamilton did dot down for Saracens but they were largely underwhelming and deservedly slipped to just a second loss of the season.

Wasps took the lead in the third minute when Piutau capitalised on the overlap to score in the corner and although Gopperth dragged the conversion wide he made no mistake in slotting the extras when Young went in under the posts following Josh Bassett's offload shortly after.

And incredibly, the visitors stunned the shell-shocked hosts further with a third try on eight minutes when George Smith broke the line and Robson was on his shoulder to dot down.

Charlie Hodgson finally stopped the rot with a 12th-minute penalty and Sarries further reduced the arrears in the 23rd minute as Barritt joined the back of a driving maul and burrowed his way over the line.

But Wasps looked a completely different side to the one that could only score three penalties against Newcastle Falcons a week ago as they secured a four-try bonus point on 28 minutes - Hughes crashing through three defenders and over the line from five metres out.

Two further penalties from former England international Hodgson before half-time briefly stopped the bleeding but between those was a fifth Wasps try and a second for Hughes.

The No.8 rode a couple of tackles to charge over and Gopperth hammered his third conversion to make it 31-16 at the interval.

Saracens had overcome half-time deficits in their two previous matches against Bath and Exeter but any dreams of a miraculous turnaround were soon quelled after the break as Gopperth shrugged off a tackle and jinked his way through the defence for try number six.

With Sarries lock Alistair Hargreaves in the sin-bin, the New Zealand born fly-half added a penalty to take the score to 41-16 before Piutau cut a beautiful line to collect Smith's pass and dot down under the posts to compound the hosts' misery.

Mammoth second-rower Jim Hamilton snuck over the line with a pick-and-drive on 55 minutes for the hosts but Hughes rampaged forward once again and offloaded to Robson for the scrum-half's second try before Elliot Daly booted a 57-metre penalty and Alex Lozowski also notched a three-pointer to complete the scoring.

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