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Harlequins overwhelmed by in-form Wasps

Wasps served up a seven-try show as they brushed aside Harlequins 47-18 at the Ricoh Arena to make it five wins from five in the Aviva Premiership.

Led by a storming display from powerhouse number eight Nathan Hughes, t he hosts had the bonus point banked before half-time.

Despite easing off in the third quarter, Wasps added a touch of gloss to the final scoreline with three late scores as they went back to the top of the table.

After Wasps kept the ball for two minutes from the kick-off, Jimmy Gopperth put a pinpoint kick into the corner and the home team's forwards drove hooker Ashley Johnson over for his third try of the season.

Both sides went wide at every opportunity in an entertaining opening quarter. A Christian Wade break sparked a promising Wasps attack which ended when his inside pass went to ground, after which Quins' Mike Brown and Marland Yarde combined from a quick throw-in and only Josh Bassett's vital interception prevented a score.

The visitors ended the first 20 minutes all square, after Jamie Roberts got on Yarde's shoulder to force his way over.

Their scoreboard parity was short-lived, however, as Wasps recovered the kick-off and Guy Thompson powered over from 25 metres for a try which Gopperth upgraded.

Tim Swiel kicked two 30-metre penalties for Harlequins, but they were split by a home try of the highest quality. Bassett recovered Gopperth's precise grubber and when he found Elliot Daly steaming up in support, the centre's flat pass sent Dan Robson to the posts for another converted score.

Daly soon followed his England colleague onto the scoreboard with another brilliant long-distance score. He took a flat pass and sped through the Harlequins midfield untouched before going behind the posts from 40 metres to bank the try bonus point.

After Gopperth again converted, Harlequins grabbed their second try, touched down by number eight James Chisholm after a long period of continuity and a neat loop move in midfield.

The third quarter was dominated by Harlequins, but despite being camped in the hosts' half they were unable to claim a third try. Their driving lineout was well repelled by Dai Young's men, and Rob Miller's nearly-missed tackle did just enough to force Tim Visser into touch as the Scotland international sped to the corner.

Finally Wasps sparked back into life following a rash of replacements, and Sam Jones' powerful break and some quick hands sent Wade into the corner for a converted score.

A sixth try, and Kyle Eastmond's first since joining Wasps from Bath, soon followed. Hughes powered through midfield and when he was hauled down by a last-ditch tackle, Joe Simpson's long pass allowed Eastmond to outpace the cover.

A set move from a scrum and a nice line from Daly then sent Bassett to the corner with five minutes remaining, and Gopperth again added the extras to wrap up the scoring.


From Belfast Telegraph