Wasps win despite early Eastmond exit
Absence of rugby league convert does not stop Wasps recording Premiership win.
Wasps overcame the 17th-minute dismissal of centre Kyle Eastmond to secure a 44-22 victory at Harlequins.
Eastmond was sent off for a dangerous high challenge on Marcus Smith, the second time in a month a Wasps player had been given his marching orders at the Stoop.
James Haskell had also been ordered off in the European Champions Cup meeting between the sides at the same venue but this time around Wasps were the winners to move up to third in the Aviva Premiership table.
Thomas Young scored two tries for the visitors, with Juan De Jongh, Tom Cruse, Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux grabbing one apiece. Danny Cipriani added four conversions and kicked two penalties.
Tim Visser, Charlie Matthews and Aaron Morris were Quins’ try-scorers with Smith adding a penalty and two conversions.
Wasps took a fourth-minute lead when Dan Robson burst away from a ruck 40 metres out. The scrum-half kicked ahead before a fortuitous bounce saw De Jongh collect to score the opening try.
Smith put the hosts on the scoreboard with a penalty but Wasps immediately responded with their second try. A well-timed pass from Le Roux sent Young through a gap and the flanker had sufficient pace to run 40 metres and hold off the cover defence to score.
The frenetic opening continued as Quins looked to have scored their first try only for the television match official to disallow a splendid solo effort from Visser, who had skilfully evaded two defenders on his way to the line.
Wasps were mightily relieved when the TMO ruled that the grounding was incomplete but minutes later they suffered a huge blow when Eastmond was sent off.
Quins also received a setback when full-back Ross Chisholm came off with a head injury, but they blew a golden opportunity to score their second try.
A brilliant 60-metre break from Smith left the visitors’ defence in tatters but David Ward did not have the pace to finish as he was hauled down by an excellent cover tackle from Le Roux.
The home side soon made amends when Smith made another break before passing to Jamie Roberts, who sent Visser over.
Cipriani kicked a penalty to give his side a 15-10 lead at the interval but within a minute of the restart Quins were level when replacement Morris collected a Wasps clearance to run 35 metres along the touchline to score.
A scrum penalty saw Cipriani put his side back in front before Wasps scored a superb third try when creative running from Christian Wade, Robson and De Jongh set up a second for Young.
Worse was to follow for Quins when Cipriani’s break was supported by De Jongh and Bassett to give Le Roux an easy run for the bonus point.
Wasps continued to embarrass Quins by scoring a fifth try through Cruse after Quins’ replacement, Archie White, was yellow-carded for repeated team infringements.
Matthews scored a consolation try for Quins but a late try from Bassett completed a chastening afternoon for the home side.