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20th Jan, 2022

LIft-off for Wasps after slaying Dragons in Champions Cup opener

Ben Tyler 14th Dec, 2020

A STRAIGHTFORWARD 24-8 bonus-point victory over Dragons gave Wasps lift off in their Pool A opener in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.

Tries from Tom Cruse, Dan Robson, Jack Willis and Thomas Young – two of which were converted by Jimmy Goperth – helped Lee Blackett’s charges put an end to their two-match losing streak following Saturday’s encounter in Newport.

The visitors took immediate advantage of their numerical advantage on 19 minutes – seconds after Jared Rosser’s yellow card – when Cruse had the simple task of breaking through a gap at Rodney Parade.

And while the deficit was cut by a Sam Davies penalty minutes later, a miss from a second attempt minutes later was punished by Robson’s converted score on 29 minutes.

Proving the final action of the half, Wasps put themselves at risk of detriment after the restart when Lima Sopoaga was sin-binned, Dragons eventually roaring back to within four points of parity after Jonah Holmes’ try.

With Wasps back at full strength, a yellow card for Aaron Jarvis immediately put the away side back on the front foot – though Gopperth was unable to edge his team further in front with a missed penalty on 56 minutes.

Davies was also unsuccessful with his effort ten minutes later for the hosts, a missed opportunity that proved costly after quickfire tries for Wasps’ Willis and Young approaching the final ten minutes of play.

And though Will Rowlands was the second visiting player to spend time on the sidelines with a sin bin in the final four minutes of play, no further score followed to ensure a positive start to Wasps’ European campaign.

Victory puts Wasps in good stead for their next Champions Cup encounter against French side Montpellier in tomorrow night’s (Friday) meeting at the Ricoh Arena.

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