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Wasps sign off in style

Wasps celebrated their final Aviva Premiership game at Adams Park in style by crushing bottom club London Welsh 71-7 to move up to fifth in the table.

After 12 years at High Wycombe, Wasps are moving to Coventry and they ensured it was memorable farewell with an 11-try mauling over a Welsh side who slumped to a seventh successive loss in the top flight.

Ashley Johnson and Christian Wade led the way with a hat-trick of tries apiece, while Nathan Hughes (two), Saliosi Tagicakibau, Joe Simpson and Tom Varndell also crossed for the hosts.

Andy Goode converted six of those tries before Alex Lozowski took over kicking duties to add two more.

Welsh, meanwhile, could only manage a single try from replacement Ben Pienaar on the hour-mark, which was converted by Will Robinson.

The hapless visitors lost three players to injury in the first half so it was little surprise that they fell away to a seventh defeat since winning promotion to the Premiership, during which time they have secured only one point and conceded a mammoth 343 points.

Wasps selected a very strong side with James Haskell, Wade and Elliot Daly all in the starting line-up.

Welsh, meanwhile, included new recruits Chris Hala'ufia and Opeti Fonua in their match day squad with Hala'ufia at number eight and Fonua on the bench. Seb Jewell and Rob Lewis were both recalled while flanker Lachlan McCaffrey made his first appearance in six weeks.

The tone was set for a miserable afternoon for Welsh when Wasps crossed for their opening try after just 70 seconds.

At a set scrum 25 metres out, the visitors lost possession on their own feed and Wasps capitalised for Hughes to crash over for the try, which Goode converted.

Welsh prop Pablo Henn was also injured in that first engagement to be replaced by Shane Cahill before the visitors fell further behind when Johnson forced his way over from a close-range line-out.

Wasps also suffered an early injury setback when Jake Cooper-Woolley limped off with Lorenzo Cittadini coming on before Welsh had their first chance for points, only for Will Robinson to push his penalty kick wide.

Wasps scored their third try, the best of the match, with a sweeping movement in the 17th minute.

From a scrum on halfway Hughes burst away, Chris Bell made a telling contribution before Tagicakibau was left with a simple task of scoring with Goode converting for a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The visitors declined the chance to get some points on the board in favour of a couple of attacking line-outs, but their ambition went unrewarded before they suffered another blow when Hala'ufia was carried off on a stretcher following a huge collision with Simon McIntyre. After receiving lengthy attention, McIntyre was able to continue but Fonua came on for the Welsh to make his debut.

Nick Scott became the third Welsh player in the opening half-hour to leave the field with an injury before Wasps had the game all-but wrapped before the interval with their bonus point try from Hughes, who collected a fumble from Jewell for an easy run in to make it 26-0 at the break.

Within five minutes of the restart, the home side were over again when Daly ran straight past a weak tackling attempt from replacement Andy Awcock before giving Wade a 35-metre run to the line.

The lively Simpson and Hughes created a second try of the afternoon for Johnson with Goode converting with an excellent touchline kick to bring Wasps up to 40 points.

At that stage, Hughes and James Cannon were replaced by Sam Jones and Kearnan Myall, with Myall's first contribution being a splendid long pass to provide Simpson with a deserved try.

Pienaar gave Welsh a brief moment of celebration with his try before Wasps continued to empty their bench with Daly, McIntyre, and Goode all departing.

Hughes and Johnson were the star performers for the hosts with Johnson completing his hat-trick by finishing off another line-out drive.

Wade then followed suit with two late tries and there was one for replacement Varndell as their opponents were torn to ribbons.


From Belfast Telegraph