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Falcons stung as Wasps cruise

Wasps continued their improved form this season with a comfortable bonus point 35-18 win over struggling Newcastle at Adams Park to jump up five places to fifth in the Aviva Premiership table

Wasps scored their four tries through Tom Varndell (two) Rob Miller and James Gaskell with Andy Goode kicking three penalties and two conversions. Miller also added a conversion.

Wasps did not have to be anywhere near the best to record a convincing victory but there were impressive performances from Ashley Johnson and Gaskell, who ensured that Wasps were mostly on the front foot.

For Newcastle, their miserable run of Premiership defeats was extended to 20 and already it seems certain that they and London Welsh will compete for the relegation spot, with their first meeting at the Kassam Stadium on 11th October already looking like the proverbial "eight pointer."

Newcastle battled hard throughout but could only manage a first-half try from lively scrum half, Ruki Tipuna and a penalty try late on. Juan Pablo Socino kicked two penalties and Rory Clegg added one conversion.

Wasps made seven changes from last week's defeat at Harlequins. Joe Launchbury and Chris Bell were both rested with stars Christian Wade and Nathan Hughes selected on the bench.

Newcastle included Alex Tait and Gonzalo Tiesi in their three-quarter line for the first start of their season whilst centre Socino was switched from centre to fly-half to partner new recruit, Tipuna.

Newcastle took a second minute lead with a Socino penalty after a challenge from Wasps lock, Kearnan Myall, was adjudged to be illegal.

Despite this, Wasps had the better of the early exchanges and were rewarded with the first try of the game in the 17th minute. From a scrum just inside the Newcastle half, the hosts moved the ball swiftly along the three-quarter line allowing Elliot Daly to produce a superbly timed pass to send Varndell over.

Goode converted and kicked a penalty but Socino responded with one for the visitors to leave Newcastle trailing 10-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Wasps extended their lead with another well created try. Gaskell nicked a line-out in the opposition 22 to allow the home side to build up pressure and it was left to Johnson to neatly off-load to the supporting Gaskell for the try which Goode converted.

Socino missed a penalty attempt after Gaskell was penalised for offside before Newcastle suffered another blow when their prop, Kieran Brookes, limped off to be replaced by Alex Rogers.

However, Newcastle, to their credit, overcame these setbacks to score their first try of the game when Tipuna evaded some poor Wasps defending to nip over for the try. Socino failed to convert so Wasps had a 17-11 interval advantage.

After the restart, Goode kicked Wasps further in front with two penalties in quick succession before he was replaced by Andrea Masi with Miller switching from full back to fly-half.

Immediately following the change, Wasps scored their crucial third try. Johnson burst away to run 30 metres to provide the scoring pass for Varndell, who had the speed to squeeze in at the corner for the try, which Miller converted.

Hughes and Wade were introduced for the last quarter and it was a piece of magic from Wade who created the space for Miller to run from half-way for the bonus point try.

Wade soon turned the villain when he was harshly yellow carded for an attempted interception on his own line which saw then referee award a penalty try which Clegg converted.


From Belfast Telegraph