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Varndell heroics puts Wasps in survival driving seat

21 Apr 2012
Varndell heroics puts Wasps in survival driving seat

Should London Wasps secure Aviva Premiership Rugby survival in a fortnight’s time then players and fans alike should raise a glass to Tom Varndell for his late try saving tackle which secured a losing bonus point at the Recreation Ground.

Bath's Sam Vesty was seemingly cruising to the line to score a try which would have meant that Wasps would have gone into the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 22 clash with Newcastle just three points ahead of the Falcons.

However with Vesty taking his time and saluting the crowd Varndell turned on the afterburners to pull down the home centre and keep Wasps within the seven-point deficit which saw them leave the west country with what could be a crucial point.

Wasps will now face Newcastle at Adams Park with a four-point cushion, with the Falcons not just needing to win, but needing to accrue a 24-point margin as well.

Mind you, Wasps will be rueing a second period in which they let a nine-point half-time lead slip. Nicky Robinson's three penalties had put them two scores in front, but when Bath scored two tries in quick succession through Lee Mears and Stephen Donald, Olly Barkley adding one conversion.

Bath had had their chances in the first half, but Stuart Hooper and Michael Claassens were denied by Charlie Davies and Jack Wallace respectively. But Donald's try gave them a lead which they would not relinquish, with Nick Abendanon being put over by Matt Carraro for a straightforward run-in.

Robinson's fourth penalty put Wasps back inside bonus point territory, but with Bath looking to seal a bonus point and keep their slim Heineken Cup hopes alive it fell to Varndell to make his side favourites to stay in Aviva Premiership Rugby next season.

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