TOP BAR - Fixtures

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 7

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young admitted his side put in a tired performance on Sunday despite beating Newcastle Falcons to climb back to second spot in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Jimmy Gopperth grabbed a last-gasp try – his second time over the whitewash in the second half – to take the scoreline to 31-6 and earn Wasps a bonus point at the Ricoh Arena.

Frank Halai and a penalty try had given the hosts a comfortable 17-3 advantage, and they defended well to restrict the Falcons to two Mike Delany efforts from the tee.

And with the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup looming next weekend, Young was relieved to be able to give his squad the chance to recharge their batteries after a sterling start to their domestic and European campaign.

“It’s quite a tired dressing room, we’ve had a lot of big games and the guys in there deserve a week off next week to re-charge their batteries as we go into the Anglo-Welsh,” he said.

“I certainly would have settled for where we are at this point, coming into the season. We’ve had some really big performances and some very good results.

“Today we didn’t perform how we would have liked, but we’ll certainly settle for the result and the five points.

“We weren’t as accurate as we would have liked and didn’t put as much energy into the performance for the full eighty minutes as we wanted.

“We didn’t demonstrate control in many areas today. We made a lot of last ditch tackles, which saved our bacon on many occasions.”

Wasps’ win kept them hot on the heels of Saracens at the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit, and after the most dramatic of victories at Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby are not far behind.

In a nip-and-tuck affair at Sandy Park, it was the hosts who surged into the lead with ten minutes remaining when Mitch Lees’ scored the first try of the game from a powerful Exeter driving maul.

While both sides were errant from the tee, Gareth Steenson and George Ford had traded penalties earlier in the game, and Bath’s powerful scrum piled on the pressure as the game built to a thrilling crescendo – Semesa Rokoduguni barging through several tackles to break Chiefs hearts at the death and win 13-10.

“When you need your big guys to step up, they stepped up and did the job. I thought George [Ford] was outstanding today,” said director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

“You are always going to miss the odd kick, but he kept attacking the line and looking for work. It was a master-class from him.

“We kept our structure at the end, and George’s pass to Roko was the sign of a great decision. We are not getting carried away. We are just enjoying the battles every week.

“We are not the complete side by a long way, but we showed fantastic character. It was good gutsy stuff.”

Sunday’s final Aviva Premiership Rugby clash saw Sale Sharks pick up their first away win of the season at Bristol Rugby, and Steve Diamond singled out the performance of Mike Haley – who was one of five try scorers in a bonus-point triumph.

Diamond said: “Mike Haley has the x-factor. He is good under the high ball and is a very illusive runner. He is ungainly looking now and again, but he breaks tackles and is difficult to bring down.

“Eddie has brought him into England’s 33-man squad to have a look at him at the highest level so I am sure Mike won’t let anyone down if he gets a chance.

“I don’t expect bonus points in this competition. If you get them, it is a bonus. We took a couple of knocks early doors but from this Monday, we are picking from a full-strength squad with everyone back from injury.”

Saturday was a good day for Aviva Premiership Rugby’s London sides as both Saracens and Harlequins eased to wins over Leicester Tigers and Worcester Warriors respectively.

Mark McCall’s side ran in three tries to extend both their lead at the top of the table and their recent run of good form against the Tigers – who have not won on Saracens’ soil in their last five attempts.

Wingers Chris Wyles and Sean Maitland crossed to give the hosts a 17-3 first-half lead, before Billy Vunipola put them out of sight after the interval, with the final score 24-10.

Harlequins meanwhile notched up a 36-14 victory over the Warriors with Joe Marchant’s intercept score securing the bonus point.

After Jackson Willison had responded to Danny Care’s early opening try, James Horwill and Mike Brown put the hosts in the ascendancy after the break with Tim Visser also rounding off the scoring late on to ensure a try for the lively Ben Te’o was no more than a consolation.

And Northampton Saints edged out Gloucester Rugby 23-20 in the first encounter of the weekend under the Friday Night Lights at Franklin’s Gardens.

Jacob Rowan and Charlie Sharples had turned the contest on its head with the Cherry & Whites trailing at half-time, but replacement scrum-half Tom Kessell popped up late on to grab the decisive score.



Northampton Saints 23

Tries: Picamoles, Kessell

Conversions: Myler 2

Penalties: Myler 3

Gloucester Rugby 20

Tries: Rowan, Sharples

Conversions: Laidlaw 2

Penalties: Laidlaw 2

Referee: Tom Foley

Attendance: 14,274



Saracens 24

Tries: Wyles, Maitland, B Vunipola

Conversions: Farrell 3

Penalties: Farrell

Leicester Tigers 10

Tries: Catchpole

Conversions: Williams

Penalties: Williams

Referee: Wayne Barnes

Attendance: 9,734


Harlequins 36

Tries: Care, Horwill, Brown, Marchant, Visser

Conversions: Evans 3, Swiel

Penalties: Evans

Worcester Warriors 14

Tries: Willison, Te’o

Conversions: Shillcock 2

Referee: Luke Pearce

Attendance: 14,816



Bristol 13

Tries: Lemi

Conversion: Geraghty

Penalties: Geraghty 2

Sale Sharks 31

Tries: Odogwu, Haley, McGuigan, Lewis-Roberts, Curry

Conversions: McGuigan 2, Mugford

Referee: JP Doyle

Attendance: 14,025


Wasps 31

Tries: Penalty try, Halai, Gopperth 2

Conversions: Gopperth 4

Penalties: Gopperth

Newcastle Falcons 6

Penalties: Delany 2

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Attendance: 15,033


Exeter Chiefs 10

Tries: Lees

Conversions: Steenson

Penalties: Steenson

Bath Rugby 13

Tries: Rokoduguni

Conversions: Ford

Penalties: Ford 2

Referee: I Tempest.

Attendance: 12,284



Latest News

Joe Launchbury named as Wasps captain for 2017/18

England lock Joe Launchbury continues as Wasps’ captain for the 2017/18 season, having led the side to the Aviva Premiership…

Joe Launchbury

Wasps name team for Connacht clash

Dai Young has named a 27-man squad to take on Connacht Rugby at the Ricoh Arena on Wednesday evening, kick-off…

Defensive display pleases Kennedy

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy was pleased with his side’s defensive display during Friday’s 29-6 victory over Ealing…

Three charities to benefit from Wasps 150th anniversary season

Wasps are proving that charity begins at home as they gear up to mark the club’s 150th anniversary. Dai Young’s…

Wasps celebrate

Temporary replacement period for off-field HIA now fixed at ten minutes

World Rugby has approved an amendment to law making it mandatory for players who undertake an off-field screening under the…

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg