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Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 3

Christian Wade scoring against Bristol. Pic: Getty Images

They came within one point of breaking their own Aviva Premiership Rugby scoring record, but Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young insists more can be done to reassert the ruthlessness in their play.

The hosts racked up a 70-22 victory over Bristol Rugby at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, securing a first-half bonus point following tries from Tommy Taylor, Elliot Daly, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Matt Symons and Christian Wade.

Further scores from Ashley Johnson (2), Danny Cipriani, Wade and Daly continued the rout in the second period, but with Bristol able to grab three of their own after the restart via Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie and Gaston Cortes, Young feels there is still more work that can be done for the Black and Golds.

“Three wins on the bounce is important and we have 14 points out of 15 so we can’t ask for much more at this stage,” he said.

“It is important to be ruthless. Gone are the days that we will be underdogs in every game that we play and we will go into games with people expecting us to win and this was one of those.

“You have to have that mental toughness and attitude that it doesn’t matter who is next or that you will play the game the same way – we will set our own standard.

“I was really pleased that we kept going and to score 70 points against anybody, you have to be pleased but there is plenty of scope for us to improve.”

Improvements, despite victory, seemed to be a common trend of the Aviva Premiership Rugby weekend, with Leicester Tigers’ Richard Cockerill calling for more following a narrow 14-13 win over Newcastle Falcons.

That was in spite of the Falcons holding a 10-0 lead, with three Freddie Burns penalties putting the Tigers one point ahead following Mike Fitzgerald’s score.

But with Joel Hodgson’s missed drop-goal attempt at the death giving the visitors a slender win, director of rugby Cockerill knew his side had been fortunate.

He said: “Credit to Newcastle, they could easily have won the game and we are very lucky to be going home with the four points.

“We had lots of opportunities to manage the game and do things better but we didn’t and we are lucky to win.

“The effort the players are putting in to try and solve the issues they are putting themselves under is credit to them so there is no lack of effort, we just need to be smarter.

“There was a period at the start of that second half where we should have controlled the ball better. Our ball control was poor and the scrum was a mess.”

It has been a long wait for Exeter Chiefs to get their first win of the season, but an emphatic performance against Harlequins was the perfect way to do it, according to head coach Rob Baxter.

First-half doubles from Lachie Turner and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie sent the Chiefs on their way 36-25 victory, with the England front rower completing his hat-trick after the break.

But Quins fought back from a 23-point deficit, with Danny Care and Charlie Walker tries taking the gloss off the Chiefs’ relieving win.

“We have been under a bit of pressure after two losses but it was fantastic to win and get a bonus point as well,” Baxter said.

“We did enough and scored some good tries but we are frustrated by our second-half performance. We should have controlled territory a bit better than we did but I am pleased with the character shown by us.

“We were far from being at our best but I am not that upset that Quins came back into it. They are a successful Aviva Premiership Rugby side and they have got some dangerous players, who can score some good tries.”

In the weekend’s other Aviva Premiership Rugby clashes, champions Saracens continued their 100 per cent winning record with victory over Northampton Saints, but it’s Bath Rugby who lead the three-way tie at the top.

Their 37-22 success over Worcester Warriors sends them to 14 points, boasting a better points difference than fellow high-fliers Saracens and Wasps.

Gloucester Rugby got their campaign up and running with a first win of the season, overcoming Sale Sharks 26-13 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

 

SUNDAY

Wasps

Tries: Taylor, Daly (2), Cooper-Woolley, Symons, Wade (2), Johnson (2), Cipriani

Conversions: Gopperth (7)

Penalties: Gopperth (2)

Bristol Rugby

Tries: Lam, Eadie, Cortes

Conversions: Pisi, Jarvis

Penalties: Pisi

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Attendance: 12,280

 

Newcastle Falcons

Tries: Socino

Conversions: Delany

Penalties: Delany, Hodgson

Leicester Tigers

Tries: Fitzgerald

Penalties: Burns 3

Referee:  JP Doyle

Attendance:  6,570

 

SATURDAY

Saracens

Tries: George, Penalty

Conversions: Lozowski

Penalties: Lozowski 5

Northampton Saints

Penalties: Myler 4

Referee: Greg Garner

Attendance: 9,455

 

Bath Rugby

Tries: Watson, Banahan, Rokoduguni, Houston

Conversions: Ford 4

Penalties: Ford 3

Worcester Warriors

Tries: Annett, Hammond, Humphreys

Conversions: Heathcote 2

Penalties: Heathcote

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Attendance: 13,194

 

Exeter Chiefs

Tries: Turner 2, Cowan-Dickie 3

Conversions: Steenson 4

Penalties: Steenson

Harlequins

Tries: Buchanan, Care, Walker

Conversions: Swiel 2

Penalties: Swiel 2

Referee: Matthew Carley

Attendance: 9,391

 

FRIDAY

Sale Sharks

Tries: James, Neild

Penalties: Addison

Gloucester Rugby

Tries: Afoa, Sharples

Conversions: Laidlaw 2

Penalties: Laidlaw 4

Referee: Ian Tempest

Attendance: 5,902

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