Christian Wade’s scored six tries on his 100th Wasps appearance as Dai Young’s men climbed into second-place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings with an astonishing 54-35 bonus point win over Worcester Warriors in a 14-try thriller at Sixways.
It was another stunning attacking performance from Young’s men – they had secured their bonus point, and Wade his hat-trick, within 30 minutes – and though Warriors kept in touching distance on the scoreboard, the Champions Cup semi-finalists looked a class apart.
Wade – who had just five tries for the season before the game began – moved onto 11 for the season and within two of Thomas Waldrom at the head of the Aviva Premiership Rugby charts.
Mills put Dean Ryan’s side within two minutes, but scores from Wade and Halai were just reward for Wasps’ supremacy. Francois Hougaard pulled one back for the hosts, before Wade ultimately put the result beyond doubt with two more tries, ably supported by Elliot Daly’s boot.
Cooper Vuna struck for the Warriors, but Wade scored his fourth – and the seventh try of the half – just before half-time to more or less secure Wasps’ fifth successive Aviva Premiership Rugby victory.
Andy Symons, Bryce Heem and captain GJ Van Velze crossed for Ryan’s men, but Wade’s 50th and 51st Aviva Premiership Rugby tries meant the result never looked in doubt despite Alex Lozowski and Carl Kirwan trading late scores.
Mills struck his first penalty after JP Doyle penalised Wasps for hands in the ruck, but Young’s side – fresh from their stunning last minute victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup – looked incredibly comfortable in possession and the warning lights were flashing for Worcester when Halai coasted through a gap in their makeshift midfield of Bryce Heem and Mills.
Wasps’ imperious backs soon made their superiority tell after their forwards stole Warriors’ line-out and Jackson – a late replacement for Jimmy Goperth – moved the ball wide to Daly before Halai crossed superbly in the corner and Daly added the extras.
Full-back Miller – sensational against Northampton Saints last time out in the Aviva Premiership – then unlocked the Worcester defence with a great break, shifting the ball to Robson and Wade was on hand to race over for his first.
Ryan’s men looked like getting back into the game with just under 15 minutes left in the half when Francois Hougaard capitalised on some strong work from the Worcester pack and darted over from close range before Tom Heathcote added the extras to bring them within four points.
Wade dampened the Warriors’ fight-back by grabbing his second moments later. Warriors though, had themselves to blame, Doyle blew up after a deliberate knock-on and when Jackson tucked the ball into the corner, Young’s pack drove close before the ball was recycled and Wade crossed again.
And the winger completed his hat-trick with a moment of individual magic. Piutau’s flat pass found Wade in space, the winger then nudged over Pennell’s head and outpaced the former England full-back to collect the ball and dive over. Daly missed the conversion.
Pennell restored some pride with his speed of thought as half-time beckoned – his instinctive pass found Vuna and the powerful winger stepped inside and reached over to score. Heathcote was off target with the conversion, leaving the score at 26-15.
To the disbelief of the Sixways faithful, there was time for Wade to score his fourth try before half-time. Daly, starting at inside-centre, made a magnificent outside break and dropped a perfect grubber kick through, which Wade collected ahead of Vuna to dive over. Daly added the extras to extend the gap to 33-15.
Worcester started brightly after half-time, Symons collecting Hougaard’s flat-pass to burrow over, but Wade intercepted in midfield with ten minutes gone and unsurprisingly, finished from 50 metres out. Jackson converted.
It almost beggared belief when Piutau then intercepted and looked to be clear only to send Wade clear for his sixth try and Jackson converted to take Wasps 27 points clear.
Captain Van Velze grabbed a consolation – and the game’s 11th try – for Ryan’s side with just over 20 minutes remaining and then Bryce Heem gave the crowd at Sixways more to cheer about before Lozowski crossed for Wasps’ eighth and final try.
Kirwan crossed from the back of a strong Warriors maul, but Lamb missed his conversion after misjudging the wind.