Wasps’ charge for the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP play-offs was given a huge boost after a pulsating 40-29 win over Saracens at Vicarage Road.
The win saw Ian McGeechan’s side round off three games in a week which have yielded 14 points and taken their winning run to eight on the bounce, lifting them to third place in the table.
Fly-half Danny Cipriani was pivotal in three of Wasps’ five first-half tries in another remarkable display of his wide range of talent.
But in a frantic first 12 minutes that saw four tries it was Francisco Leonelli who put Sarries ahead after a deft pass from Richard Haughton.
Wasps hooker Raphael Ibanez replied from the restart as Joe Worsley disrupted Hugh Vyvyan’s attempt to take Cipriani’s kick-off and the Frenchman gathered the loose ball to barrel over.
And Wasps were in front two minutes later after an awful pass on his own line from Adam Powell went behind both Kevin Sorrell and Leonelli, who dithered over the bouncing ball to allow Tom Voyce to pounce.
The onslaught continued when Cipriani dummied Sorrell and glided through a hole before feeding Dominic Waldouck who raced home.
The next 10 minutes were positively barren in comparison, but Cipriani had the travelling support on their feet again on 21 minutes when he collected a poor Neil de Kock clearance, looked over to the right wing and lofted an inch-perfect kick for Paul Sackey to seal the bonus point.
Leonelli hit back with his second just after the half-hour mark but Wasps had a fifth on the stroke of half-time when Cipriani snaked outside Haughton to again offload to Waldouck for his second.
Eoin Reddan got in on the act after the break when he dummied Paul Gustard 40 metres out and raced home to take Wasps to the 40-point mark.
Leonelli kept faint Saracens hope alive with his hat-trick after 54 minutes, and after James Haskell was sent to the sin bin just after coming on as a replacement the home side capitalised with a fourth score from Haughton.
Saracens captain de Kock hauled them even closer when he wriggled from a clutch of bodies to scamper over and had Glen Jackson not missed three out of his five conversion attempts plus an early penalty this would have been a much tighter affair.