RUGBY UNION: WASPS continued to change their fortunes with a 22-38 win against Northampton Saints.
Five points ahead at the break, Wasps took control of the game with three second-half tries to secure a satisfying bonus point.
Successful kicks from Jimmy Gopperth and Piers Francis advanced the game to 3-3 before Gopperth earned Wasps their second dose of points with another kick to make the score 3-6.
Northampton started to make progress following Gopperth’s kick and were soon moving ominously towards the 22.
Though Guy Thompson stole a turnover, the ball was knocked on – and Saints gained the advantage.
Moments later, Ahsee Tuala went over in the corner to earn the hosts a two-point lead.
Wasps were soon back in the driving seat when Matt Mullan’s efforts to gain ground saw the visiting side rewarded with a penalty from 30 metres out.
Gopperth made no mistake from range to put Wasps a point ahead after 28 minutes.
Joe Launchbury added to Wasps’ lead with a try before Saints’ Francis made the score 16-11 with a kick before the break.
Rob Miller replaced Elliot Daly, who had picked up a knee injury, at half time.
It was Wasps who struck the first blow of the half, after spinning the ball out wide at every opportunity.
A storming charge by Guy Thompson almost created a try for Jake Cooper-Woolley, near the right corner.
When the ball was moved back out to the left, Willie Le Roux’s long pass found Ashley Johnson who went over for a confidence boosting try.
Jimmy Gopperth’s low conversion attempt went wide.
Piers Francis bagged two penalties to bring his side to within four points 20 minutes to play.
Wasps produced the perfect response though.
After good work by Guy Thompson down the right, the ball was moved back across the field and Joe Launchbury appeared in the line to feed Josh Bassett, who cut inside the tackle to go over for a fine try. Jimmy Gopperth’s conversion took Wasps to a 28-17 lead after 61 minutes.
Gopperth added another kick before Juan de Jong scored his first try for Wasps to seal a 38-17 victory.