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Match Report: Northampton Saints 22 Wasps 38

28 Oct 2017
Match Report: Northampton Saints 22 Wasps 38

Wasps were victorious at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens fortress, as Christian Wade and Josh Bassett led the way in an impressive display of attacking rugby.

Saints had not lost an Aviva Premiership Rugby game at home since March, but Wasps claimed a fifth successive victory over their Midlands rivals, proving the comeback is well and truly on for Dai Young’s men.

The hosts led in the first half thanks to Ahsee Tuala, but a perplexing passage of play resulted in Wade’s try, giving Wasps the advantage.

The visitors emerged from the tunnel full of intent after the break and scores from Ashley Johnson, Bassett and Juan de Jongh proved decisive.

Saints were first across the whitewash, they had been looming on the 22 for some time when Ben Foden broke away, timing his offload with perfect precision to send Tuala over in the corner.

Then in an extraordinary turn of events, Elliot Daly made an initial break but the ball was recovered by Tuala, who offloaded to Nafi Tuitavake for what looked like a certain score.

They had not reckoned with the power of Wade though, he regained possession and bypassed a scattered Saints defence to claim seven points — after converting his own try.

Bassett then added his name to the scoresheet as he took Joe Launchbury’s offload and cut inside, dancing through two tackles to extend Wasps’ lead.

De Jongh also enjoyed some help from his friends in the pack, as Johnson burst through the Saints line to create a gap, allowing the inside centre to go over under the posts.

Twelve points from Piers Francis, including an ambitious effort from just inside Wasps’ half, kept Saints in it for much of the game and Harry Mallinder scored a breakaway try in the dying minutes, but it was not enough to close the gap.