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Match Report: Wasps 70 Bristol Rugby 22 Match Report: Wasps 70 Bristol Rugby 22

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Match Report: Wasps 70 Bristol Rugby 22

Wasps missed out on making Aviva Premiership Rugby history by a solitary point after scoring ten tries in an unforgettable 70-22 victory over Bristol Rugby.

Dai Young’s men produced an attacking masterclass as their exciting backline and impressive pack grabbed five tries in each half at the Ricoh Arena.

Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Ashley Johnson all grabbed braces, and there were also tries for Tommy Taylor, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Matt Symons and Danny Cipriani as the Black and Golds just missed out on breaking their own record points total, which was set two years ago when they beat London Welsh 71-7.

For Bristol, all three of their tries came in the second period through Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie and Gaston Cortes as they continue their search for a first Premiership Rugby win since their return.

Wasps enjoyed a dream start when Taylor dotted down off the back of a driving maul after Cipriani had kicked a penalty in the opening minute to the corner.

Jimmy Gopperth was unable to provide the extras and by the time a quarter of an hour was on the clock, Bristol had reduced the deficit to two points through Tusi Pisi’s routine penalty.

Gopperth’s own kick a moment later regained the five-point advantage though and it quickly became evident that it was going to be Wasps’ day.

The Black and Golds were denied a try when the TMO agreed with the touch judge that Thompson had been taken into touch before releasing the ball.

But that was only a brief reprieve for Bristol as shortly after Gopperth landed a 40-metre penalty, Wasps grabbed their second try of the game in bizarre fashion.

A quick line-out saw Cipriani kick towards the corner and while Wade was unable to dot down, as his boot helped the ball into the corner flag, it ricocheted back into play and Daly was able to touch down to make it 16-3.

The home side were by now in full flow and after Thompson provided crash ball following a great angle, Simpson broke the line. Wade was unable to wiggle his way over but after a few phases of play, Cooper-Woolley powered through to score.

Wasps thought they had their try bonus point around the half-hour mark when James Gaskell ran clear, only for the referee to pull play back for a forward pass by Daly.

Bristol had shown attacking intent with the ball in hand in the early stages but they were not clinical enough in the final third, which was evident when Joe Joyce failed to find the arms of Olly Robinson from a line-out training ground routine close to the try-line, following a kick to the corner.

And Wasps had their try bonus point after just 35 minutes when Pisi was penalised for throwing the ball away ahead of a line-out, Gopperth kicked to the corner and after a few phases of forward play, Symons dotted down.

Young’s men then rounded off a clinical first-half when Daly broke through, Taylor released Wade and he opted to step inside the covering defender instead of turning on the gas to the corner.

Trailing 37-3 at the interval, a Bristol fightback always seemed unlikely but they showed intent to give it a go when Lam drove over to score after Ross McMillan had been stopped just short of the line.

But business was resumed for Wasps when Wade stepped the on-rushing tackler outside the 22 and found a gap in the defence, before having the footwork to beat Jordan Williams when one-on-one.

A few minutes later replacement Johnson crossed for Wasps’ seventh score of the afternoon by finishing off a driving maul to cross the 50-point mark.

And Cipriani made it 56 points in 56 minutes when he exchanged a one-two with Frank Halai before showing his speed to run 50 metres into the corner.

Bristol gave their fans something to cheer about just before the hour when Eadie spotted a gap and slid over, as Pisi’s conversion made it 56-15.

The 60-point mark was breached on 67 minutes though when Johnson powered over once more, as Gopperth’s conversion made it an impressive 63-15.

The losing bonus point had long been off the table for Bristol but their hopes of securing something out of the game were kept alive with a third try via Gaston Cortes, following the TMO checking there was no issue with a knock-on or the grounding.

The visitors’ points difference continued to suffer though as Daly finished off a move following good feet from Kyle Eastmond wide left for Wasps’ tenth try of the afternoon.

Even with the clock in the red, Young’s men were not content and looked set to break the Premiership points record when the ball was moved left, only for Daly to deliver a wayward pass which resulted in a knock-on.

So Wasps were unable to make history but it was still an unforgettable afternoon for all those inside the Ricoh Arena.

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