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Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Saturday, 23 April 2011 19:33 UK

Wasps 10-43 Bath

Wasps (3) 10
Try: Simpson Con: Simpson Pen: Walder
Bath (29) 43
Tries: Biggs 3, Banahan 2, Carraro Cons: Vesty 5 Pen: Vesty


Tom Biggs
Biggs crossed the line three times before half-time at Twickenham

Bath kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs as Tom Biggs' three tries helped them to a bonus-point win over Wasps at Twickenham.

Biggs' hat-trick and a try from Matt Banahan put the visitors in control at the break as Bath led 29-3.

Banahan then went over for a second time before Joe Simpson scored and converted a consolation try for Wasps.

Matt Carraro then crossed the line as Bath closed the gap on the top four to eight points with a game in hand.

Steve Meehan's side must now hope that Northampton fail to win their final game of the season, while winning both of their final games and collecting at least one bonus point, to have any chance of competing for the Premiership title.

The visitors' cause was helped by fly-half Sam Vesty, who claimed 13 points with the boot.

Wasps' hopes of qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup now look all but over as they now effectively need Northampton and Harlequins to qualify by winning Europe's top prize and the Amlin Challenge Cup respectively.

Biggs put Bath ahead just four minutes into the match when full-back Nick Abendanon off-loaded as he was tackled and sent the former Newcaslte player sprinting to the line, with Vesty adding the extras.

Vesty then kicked over a penalty and added his second conversion after winger Biggs went over for Bath's second when he was released to run over unchallenged by Banahan.

Dave Walder opened Wasps' account with a 32nd-minute penalty when Bath strayed offside at a ruck in front of their posts.

But, four minutes before the break, the visitors scored a third try when Banahan was put through by Michael Claassens' sublime pass and Vesty kicked an extra two points.

Biggs then extended Bath's lead to 26 points at the break when he beat opposing winger Richard Haughton for pace, rounded Elliot Daly and then once more defied Haughton to cross the line.

Wasps number eight Billy Vunipola then wasted a chance to score before Banahan claimed his second try, by latching onto Vesty's kick and touching down. Vesty again added the extras.

Simpson then left the Bath defence for dead to claim Wasps' only try of the match, which he then converted.

But Carraro then went over to claim the visitors' final try before Vesty kicked his fifth conversion to complete an impressive victory.


Wasps acting director of rugby Leon Holden: "The game was over by half-time. If you can't hold onto the ball and keep possession, you are going to lose to a team like Bath.

"They are probably the best side in England for stinging you from turnovers.

"We turned the ball over four times and they hit us with 26 points. The positive for us was that some of the youngsters in the pack played well again. They will learn from this."

Bath director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan: "Lewis Moody took a knock and it's corking [a dead leg]. It was just safer to get him off when we did. He will be playing next week.

"The medics are not worried. He leads by example and just wanted to play and get some tough training in, which he has for the last two weeks.

"We've just got to keep winning. If we don't do that, it doesn't matter what happens elsewhere. The forwards were good. We made some really good decisions tactically, which gave us room to play."


Wasps: Daly; Haughton, Jacobs, Flutey, Varndell; Walder, Simpson; Taulafo, Ward, Broster; Shaw, Launchbury; Hart (capt), Ward-Smith, Vunipola.

Replacements: Lewsey for Varndell (58), van Gisbergen for Walder (58), Berry for Simpson (68), Beech for Taulafo (65), Ward for Lindsay (58), Baker for Broster (71), Birkett for Hart (56), Betsen Tchoua for Vunipola (65).

Bath: Abendanon; Boussuge, Carraro, Banahan, Biggs; Vesty, Claassens (capt); Flatman, Mears, Wilson; Fernandez Lobbe, Grewcock; Skirving, Moody, Taylor.

Replacements: Scott for Biggs (75), Roberts for Vesty (75), McMillan for Claassens (68), Catt for Flatman (60), Dixon for Mears (60), Bell for Wilson (60), Ovens for Moody (50), Mercer for Taylor (68).

Att: 38,074

Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).



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see also
Guscott's predictions
25 Apr 11 |  English
Wasps inquiry focuses on Powell
21 Apr 11 |  London Wasps
Short and Hooper out for season
20 Apr 11 |  Bath
Wasps 51-18 Leeds
17 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union
Bath 19-15 Harlequins
16 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union


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