Tom Young’s double helped Wasps maintain their 100 per cent Aviva Premiership Rugby record in Coventry, with a 32-21 victory over Gloucester Rugby in a thrilling game at the Ricoh Arena.
The hosts were slightly fortunate to go in 17-13 ahead thanks to two late first-half tries from Rob Miller and Elliot Daly, after Ross Moriarty and Young exchanged earlier scores.
But Young went over again just after the interval to seal the bonus point, and despite some heavy pressure from the Cherry & Whites that saw Henry Purdy go over, Guy Thompson came off the bench to score again and seal Wasps’ fourth league win from four at the Ricoh.
Gloucester dominated the early stages and opened the scoring through James Hook’s sixth minute penalty, the former Wales international making no mistake from 40-metres when Wasps were pinged on the floor.
Wasps were struggling to get going following a mixed bag of results of late, but finally sparked into life on 12 minutes when they ripped the ball out in midfield and Christian Wade and Nathan Hughes took them up to the try-line.
However it was Gloucester who deservedly scored the game’s first try, the returning Jonny May making the key break before Mark Atkinson fed Moriarty out the back door to go over under the posts, Hook adding the simple conversion to make it 10-0 on 20 minutes.
The score certainly provoked a response from Wasps, who built the phases beautifully and scored five minutes later.
James Gaskell fed Young, who stepped around Gloucester’s last man before swan-diving his way between the sticks, Andy Goode reducing to deficit to three with the extras.
Gloucester were denied a try on 30 minutes via the TMO, Purdy not managing to touch down after Wade lost the ball, but Hook did make it 13-7 with a penalty for obstruction in the build-up.
However, Wasps again responded and got themselves right back into the match when Miller went over in the corner, Tom Varndell this time making the break before expertly offloading to the full-back.
Goode missed the tricky conversion from out wide, but Wasps took the lead moments later with a try from nowhere.
After spotting acres of space Goode chipped a quick penalty through for Wade, who bounced off a tackle and fed Daly to score.
Goode was struggling with the wind and twice missed the conversion attempt from the touchline after Gloucester broke early on his first, but Wasps would still have felt fortunate to go in 17-13 ahead having been outplayed for most of the first-half.
But the hosts exploded out of the traps in the second half with Young grabbing his second try of the afternoon on 42 minutes, Ashley Johnson making a huge break and crashing through three tackles.
Hook slotted a penalty after his side stole a lineout five minutes later, and Gloucester then piled on the pressure to take the ball up to the line, with James Downey seeing yellow after deliberately knocking on to stop a certain May try.
And there was a sense of the inevitable as Atkinson crossed the whitewash for Gloucester, but Wasps were given a reprieve again as the TMO ruled out the try for crossing.
Hook was looking threatening with every touch of the ball, and Gloucester finally got their second try when Bill Meakes fed Purdy for his third try in two games, with a fabulous finish in the corner making it 24-21.
Goode extended Wasps’ lead with a penalty when the Cherry & Whites were pinged on the floor, but with the deficit still just six points heading into the final 10 minutes the Ricoh was prepped for a grandstand finish.
But replacement Thompson ensured there would be no smash and grab for Gloucester, his try making it 32-21 and taking Wasps up to fourth in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.
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