2nd Dec, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Wasps win at Bath despite Gopperth injury blow

WASPS returned to winning ways in the Gallagher Premiership with a 27-17 victory at Bath as Vaea Fifita, Gabriel Oghre and Tom Willis all crossed for tries.

 

Fifita dotted down after just nine minutes before Tom de Glanville responded with Bath’s first try on 28 minutes as Wasps led 13-10 at the interval.

 

Mike Williams was then sent off for the hosts on 47 minutes after his high shot resulted in Jimmy Gopperth being stretchered from the field.

 

And despite Wasps having a player in the sin-bin Oghre crossed just a minute later before Tom Willis sealed the points with a try in the 67th minute.

 

Semesa Rokoduguni scored a late consolation try for Bath when reduced to 13-men but Wasps held to deny their opponents a losing bonus point at the Recreation Ground.

 

The result leaves Wasps in seventh place in the Gallagher Premiership table ahead of a home match with defending champions Harlequins next weekend.

 

Lee Blackett’s side started brightly and were rewarded with a try when Jacob Umaga’s cross-field kick was collected by Josh Bassett who passed inside to Fifita to score in the corner.

 

After Gopperth converted from the touchline – Bath scored their first points of the afternoon through Orlando Bailey’s penalty in front of the sticks.

 

Gopperth extended Wasps lead with a penalty of his own before de Glanville broke the line to score with Bailey’s conversion bringing the game level.

 

Parity was not restored for long however, as Gopperth’s second penalty six minutes before half-time edged Wasps into a three-point lead at the break.

 

Jeff Toomaga-Allen was then sin-binned for dragging down a maul early in the second period before Williams was dismissed for a hit on Gopperth.

 

The Bath number five made direct contact with the head and neck of Gopperth who was stretchered off with suspected concussion after lengthy on-field treatment.

 

And Wasps capitalised on the red card to score their second try when Oghre received Umaga’s flat pass and darted through the middle to score on his return from suspension.

 

With Bath reduced to 13-men – after Josh Bayliss was sent to the sin-bin – Willis scored from close range with Umaga converting to take the game out of the hosts reach.

 

Bath scored the game’s final try through Rokoduguni when he fumbled Jonathan Joseph’s kick before superbly grounding in the corner under pressure from two Wasps defenders.

 

Blackett’s side passed up the chance to chase a bonus-point win by kicking the ball dead as the clock ticked into the red but will have been delighted to take the four points back to Coventry.

 

Wasps are next in action against Harlequins on Sunday, November 7 with kick-off at 4:30pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

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