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Match Reaction: Wasps 47 Harlequins 18

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was delighted with his side’s ruthlessness as they ran in seven tries to make it five wins from as many Aviva Premiership Rugby games this season.

After 20 minutes at the Ricoh Arena the two sides were locked at 5-5 as Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts cancelled out an opening try from Ashley Johnson.

But in a devastating display of attacking prowess Wasps had a try bonus point wrapped up before half-time as Guy Thompson, Dan Robson and Elliot Daly crossed the whitewash in a scintillating 12-minute spell.

Harlequins replied through James Chisholm to trail 26-18 at half-time, but they failed to trouble the scoreboard in the second 40, while Wasps added further scores through Christian Wade, Kyle Eastmond and Josh Bassett to return to the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

“We were ruthless without a shadow of doubt – we had four visits to their 22 in the first half and scored four tries,” Young said.

“That’s something we’ve talked about constantly, and which has been a drum I’ve been banging since I’ve been here and it’s perhaps taken a while to sink in.

“But you couldn’t fault us today, as when we had opportunities we took them, which was pretty much also what I said after the game at Northampton.

“We really rode our luck last week, only had a couple of chances to score and took them, but this week was a far better performance right across the board.

“I thought we showed some real attacking intent and scored some great tries, and the real exciting factor for me is that there is still a lot more to come from us.

“We’re still a bit loose on occasions and make one or two poor decisions, and although we’re scoring lots of tries there’s still plenty more to work on.”

While Wasps moved back to the summit, Harlequins’ away record still reads one win since January – with that coming against London Irish back in May.

But director of rugby John Kingston admitted they could have few complaints at not ending that disappointing run at the Ricoh Arena, a stadium where Harlequins have lost and conceded a try bonus point on all three of their visits.

“We had 70 per cent in their half and 61 per cent possession of the ball, so that tells one part of the story, but on the other side seven tries to two says we didn’t take our chances,” Kingston said.

“We weren’t good enough when they had the ball and made it much too easy for them to score points, so we’ve got to be honest, look at it and see why those things are happening.

“Conceding 47 points in a game clearly suggests the defending is not good enough because you’re not going to win, are you? I’m not being rude, but it’s not rocket science, and conceding seven tries and 47 points is unacceptable.

“We know they’re a very opportunistic side and their reactions are very good, as a lot of top sides are, but they are particularly good with turnovers. At times mistakes were made by us and the reaction time to sort them out just wasn’t where it needed to be.

 

Wasps: Miller (Eastmond 38-40), 57; Wade (Halai 69), Daly, Gopperth, Bassett; Cipriani, Robson (Simpson 60); Mullan (McIntyre 50), Johnson (Taylor 60), Cooper-Woolley (Moore 50); Symons (Gaskell 60), Myall; Jones, Thompson (Young 55), Hughes

 

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Alofa (Stanley 65) Roberts, Visser; Swiel (Lang 69), Dickson (Mulchrone 73); Lambert (Marler 50), Gray (Ward 50), Collier (Sinckler 50); Merrick (Twomey 64), Horwill; Robshaw, Wallace, Chisholm (Naoupu 69)

 

Wasps

Tries: Johnson, Thompson, Robson, Daly, Wade, Eastmond, Bassett

Conversions: Gopperth 6

 

Harlequins

Tries: Roberts, Chisholm

Conversions: Swiel

Penalties: Swiel 2

 

Referee: Greg Garner

Attendance: 16.004

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