Match Stats - Fix Info
Match Page 2017-18 - Summary
New Zealand born Mark van Gisbergen kicked 15 points, levelling Jonny Wilkinson’s Premiership record of 28 straight successful kicks and sent a timely reminder to England’s selectors looking for a replacement for the recently retired Jason Robinson
The win saw Wasps moved up to second on the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP table behind Leicester with tries from Raphael Ibanez, Tom Voyce, Joe Worsley and Tim Payne.
Worcester piled on the forward pressure with a first-half score from Pat Sanderson and a late breakaway effort by full-back Nicolas Le Roux, with Shane Drahm kicking two conversions and two penalties.
But they failed to match the Premiership champions for execution and paid in the end for the narrow ambition of their limited game-plan.
Wasps, who suffered a shock defeat at Sixways in the Premiership 11 months ago, deployed their strongest available side despite the long-term absence of Lawrence Dallaglio and Josh Lewsey.
French hooker Ibanez and England hopeful Ayoola Erinle came into the starting line-up, but lock Simon Shaw missed out on a place on the bench with a sore back.
Coach Ian McGeechan opted to move Worsley to the open-side to directly oppose Worcester skipper Pat Sanderson, with Jonny O’Connor on the bench.
Wasps scored inside the first two minutes after Erinle wrong-footed the Worcester midfield and support arrived to drive Ibanez over.
Van Gisbergen’s conversion put him level with Wilkinson’s record Premiership streak of 28 successful kicks at goal.
But in the tight the champions were in trouble. They were unceremoniously shoved backwards at the scrum and Worcester’s forward-based tactics saw their backs rush in to add weight to a string of lineout drives.
Sanderson was bulldozed over after five minutes, with Drahm converting, and Wasps did well to keep out a prolonged assault on their line midway through the half.
The hot-tempered game threatened to boil over when Matt Dawson swung a punch at prop Chris Horsman – only for Drahm to miss a straightforward penalty.
He made no mistake from 40 metres on the half-hour mark and Wasps were struggling to turn their more ambitious approach into points, despite Dawson raising the tempo from scrum-half and Voyce threatening on the wing.
They did win a penalty when Worcester’s backs were called for crossing in first-half injury time to give Van Gisbergen the chance to break Wilkinson’s record.
The 45-metre effort was well within his range, but the full-back showed a rare trace of nerves with a scuffed shot which he dragged five metres wide of the left post.
Van Gisbergen demonstrated what a rarity that was early in the second half after his side regained the lead with a brilliant piece of opportunism from Stuart Abbott.
The centre, making his 50th Premiership appearance, kicked ahead and beat the covering Jonny Hylton to the ball, then held off the tackler to give Voyce the scoring pass.
Van Gisbergen added a cool conversion from wide on the left, then stroked over penalties in the 48th and 50th minutes before Drahm responded with one of his own for Worcester.
Wasps forged 14 points clear on the hour with another piece of opportunism from a free-kick, Worsley taking Alex King’s pass and bursting through Drahm’s tackle to the line for Van Gisbergen to convert.
Le Roux’s late effort might have given Wasps a few worries but Payne powered over in injury-time and Van Gisbergen converted with his sixth successful effort on goal.