Andy Goode kicks the winning points for Wasps in a tense finish
5 January 2014, 05:13 pm ::
By Ryan Walters
London Wasps 19 Exeter Chiefs 16
Andy Goode held his nerve to drive home a drop goal with the last kick of the game for London Wasps, handing them a thrilling victory over Exeter Chiefs following a courageous second-half fight back.
Wasps had trailed 13-3 at the break after a Dave Lewis try and eight points from the boot of Henry Slade had given their opponents an advantage.
But Joe Simpson's second-half score and Goode's improved kicking gave Wasps their sixth win of the season and moved them up to sixth in the Aviva Premiership.
The Chiefs got off to the perfect start after just 70 seconds when scrum-half Lewis noticed a gap in the Wasps defence and ran in unopposed under the posts from 20 metres out.
Slade had the easiest of conversions to give his side a 7-0 lead but Tom Varndell almost replied with a score minutes later chasing onto an excellent Goode kick, only for the wing to have a foot in touch.
Elliot Daly then gave Wasps their first points of the afternoon with a mammoth kick from 52 metres after the Chiefs had been penalised at the breakdown.
However Slade was allowed the chance to restore his side's seven-point lead straight from the restart as Wasps gave away a penalty almost immediately - 10-3.
The young fly-half however couldn't extend the lead even further on 17 minutes when he decided to go for the posts once more but he could only drag his penalty attempt wide.
Daly suffered a similar fate when he attempted another huge penalty on halfway three minutes later and then a superb tackle from Jack Nowell prevented Varndell finding the try line.
Another breakdown offence gave Slade an easy shot at goal on the half-hour and he made no mistake to give Exeter a ten-point lead while Goode missed a penalty shortly afterwards, seemingly not helped by the wind.
After the break the Wasps fly-half had the chance to make amends after his forwards had won another penalty in the scrum, this time the ball sailed between the posts for 13-6.
The momentum was with the home side and Goode confidently kicked his easiest chance of the match after a break from Charlie Hayter had almost led to a try just before.
The gap was at just four points and on the hour Wasps took the lead for the first time in the game through scrum-half Simpson.
The no.9 danced over in a similar fashion to Lewis' earlier score, capitalising on a huge gap in the Exeter defence - Goode converting for 16-13.
Wasps were asking all the questions and were confident with ball in hand but Exeter thought they had retaken the lead with ten minutes to go through a Slade try.
The Chiefs no.10 had a kick half charged down by Goode which, playing everyone onside, put Ian Whitten through.
The centre then fed Tom James but when the wing gave the ball to Slade a fantastic tackle from Simpson denied him a certain try - Slade settling for a penalty instead shortly after to level things up at 16-16.
But with the very last kick of the match Goode dropped back into the pocket and, after receiving the ball, slotted home a drop goal to give Dai Young's side the victory.