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London Wasps 29 Bath Rugby 15

06 Jan 2013
London Wasps 29 Bath Rugby 15

Christian Wade’s moment of magic earned London Wasps their sixth victory in eight Aviva Premiership games with a 29-15 triumph over Bath Rugby.

The 21-year-old wing beat three Bath defenders before touching down on the stroke of half-time to turn the game in the Adams Park outfit’s favour – taking them into the Premiership play-off places in the process.

Bath had taken the early initiative with a first-minute try from Nick Abendanon and Michael Claassens’ effort shortly afterwards, but Wade’s trickery and Stephen Jones’ majestic right boot – which gathered 17 points in total – proved too much with Chris Bell’s late effort the icing on the cake.

Bath got off to the best possible start with a try after 30 seconds for Abendanon in the corner.

The full-back ran down the right touchline, evading two challenges, after catching Jones’ high kick on the halfway line.

Stephen Donald missed the tough conversion and moments later the visitors were penalised for offside and Jones added three points.

The game, already brimming from a pulsating start, erupted when Tom Varndell was sin-binned for an alleged spear tackle on Horacio Agulla.

And after Jones missed a penalty Bath capitalised on the man advantage and Wasps then fell further behind on 15 minutes when Claassens bundled over in the corner. Donald converted from the touchline for a 12-3 lead.

Jones, returning to the Wasps starting line-up, struck an easy penalty on 21 minutes and shortly after he notched another to bring the hosts within three points of Bath.

Dom Day was then sin-binned for bringing down James Cannon in the air but it was Bath who had the next scoring opportunity – Donald, though, missed his penalty.

Despite the man deficit, Kyle Eastmond nearly forced his way in but Elliot Daly cleared to touch just 20 yards from the line.

Daly then missed a penalty before Wade’s moment of magic – beating three challenges on his way into the corner after Jones’ long pass. Jones converted from the touchline on the Bath 22 for a 16-12 half-time lead.

Within two minutes of the restart Bath had reduced the arrears to one point – Tom Heathcote, who replaced Donald at the break, slotted a penalty.

Wasps responded well though, a prolonged attack ended with Billy Vunipola driving his way towards the line but his effort was ruled out by the TMO.

The dynamic No.8 failed to ground the ball but his disappointment was eased on 54 minutes when Jones added his fourth penalty of the game.

The hosts were beginning to exert some territorial dominance and had men over from another break, but this time Ashley Johnson was halted in his tracks by a forceful challenge from compatriot Francois Louw.

Louw was then at the heart of the next incident, he snaffled the ball well but teammate Dave Wilson was penalised and Jones made them pay with another three points to take Wasps seven points clear at 22-15.

Replacement Nicky Robinson missed the chance to put breathing space between the sides with a 69th-minute penalty but Bell’s late try, after a neat offload from Joe Simpson, sealed the victory – with Abendanon’s sin-binning for a trip ending his afternoon on a sour note.

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