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Match Report: Wasps 32 Worcester Warriors 22

10 Jan 2016
Match Report: Wasps 32 Worcester Warriors 22

Frank Halai’s last-gasp try set Wasps on course for a crucial 32-22 victory over Worcester Warriors in a thrilling encounter at the Ricoh Arena.

Trailing 13-0 in the first half, and then by nine points heading into the last ten minutes, Wasps showed their resolve to come back, with Halai, a last-minute inclusion, finishing on the left after good work from Rob Miller.

And Wasps rubbed salt into the wounds with a fourth try in the final seconds from Sailosi Tagicakibau to seal an improbable bonus point, cruelly denying Worcester anything in the process.

Worcester were dealt an early blow when Sam Betty was forced off in the opening minutes to be replaced by Marco Mama, but they didn’t let it affect them.

They took the lead after 11 minutes when Wasps were penalised at the breakdown, with winger Andy Symons slotting the three points.

He added another on the half-hour, with Ben Howard having also come on for Tom Biggs, as the visitors made the better start.

And things got even better for Worcester when Cooper Vuna picked off a pass and raced away for the opening try just before half-time.

Symons converted, but Wasps were almost responded immediately. Jimmy Gopperth thought he’d crossed right on the stroke of half-time but after consultation with the TMO he was deemed to have knocked on.

Wasps had an advantage though and Matt Cox was sin-binned for his troubles. Gopperth slotted the resulting penalty to cut the deficit to 13-3 at the break.

With the extra man Gopperth knocked over a second penalty early in the second half but that was it during the sin-bin period.

However almost immediately after Cox had returned, Wasps drew level. Miller, a late replacement for Charles Piutau, breaking through before sending Kearnan Myall over for the score. Gopperth converted from in front and Wasps looked to be in the ascendancy.

Worcester refused to fold though and they retook the lead with another Symons penalty just before the hour.

He added two more in quick succession, although Worcester will feel they could have done more when Vuna was stopped just short.

Still, leading 22-13, the win seemed to be very much on its way, however Wasps kept battling away.

They got their reward with ten minutes remaining when Guy Thompson went over from close range after an interminable period of pressure in the 22. Gopperth converted to make it 22-20.

Wasps then had their chance to win it, with Elliot Daly attempting a penalty from 45 metres out on the angle, but his effort went wide.

It didn’t matter in the end though as Halai popped up at the death to win it before Tagicakibau’s score completed a stunning comeback.

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