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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Sunday, 9 October 2011 16:55 UK

London Wasps 27-24 Bath

London Wasps (18) 27
Tries: Wade, Varndell Cons: Robinson Pens: Robinson 5
Bath (13) 24
Tries: Palma-Newport, Mercer Cons: Heathcote Pens: Heathcote 4

Tom Varndell crosses for Wasps
Varndell's try put Wasps 18-13 up at the break

Wasps held on to beat Bath in a close-fought match at Adams Park to record their first win in four attempts.

Christian Wade's try put Wasps in charge before Kane-Palma Newport's effort was converted by Tom Heathcote, who levelled with his second penalty.

Tom Varndell then went over to give Wasps a five-point lead at half-time.

An exchange of penalties followed after the break before Guy Mercer went over to pull Bath back into the match, but Wasps held on to win.

With Wasps' tries coming from the Premiership's top scorer, Wade, who now has six for the season, and Varndell on the opposite wing, their other 17 points came from the boot of Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson.

Heathcote had kicked Bath into an early lead with his opening penalty before Robinson put the hosts 6-3 ahead after 12 minutes.

Wasps then stretched the lead to 10 points when Hugo Southwell's through kick was deflected into the hands of Wade, who raced in from 25 metres.

Michael Claassens' break then instigated a Bath attack which saw prop Palma-Newport drive over from close range before Heathcote added the extras.

Bath then crossed the line twice but were twice denied by referee Andrew Small and lost hooker Peter Dixon on 29 minutes before Heathcote levelled the scores with his second penalty.

But the visitors went in at the break five points down after Varndell finished off a superbly crafted try, sprinting clear down the left wing following a quick move from flanker Joe Launchbury and Robinson.

The two sides then exchanged penalties after the break before Heathcote missed the chance to close the gap to two points. And, despite kicking his next attempt, Robinson added six more points to put the hosts firmly in control.

The Welshman then missed his next attempt before a sustained spell of Bath forward pressure allowed Mercer to reduced the arrears to three points, but Heathcote was unable to convert.

Robinson missed a late penalty attempt but Wasps secured their first win in a month as Bath ran out of time to have a chance of completing a fight-back.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:

"We played some good stuff on occasions and some dumb stuff on occasions too.

"We gifted Bath some points by not using the conditions but we found a way to win.

"There's still loads to work on but the set pieces - both scrum and lineout - and the discipline were a lot better.

"When things aren't going as well as you like you need that win and that little bit of breathing space."

Bath coach Brad Davis:

"I had a chat with Andrew [Small, the referee] after the game. I thought he didn't have too much assistance out there today.

"Obviously any coach on the losing side would feel a little bit aggrieved if all the 50-50s and some 100-percenters don't go your way.

"I'm no different so that was a brief conversation but ultimately we've got to look at our own performance that dictated the result and outcome of the match.

"To score 24 points away from home you should generally come away a winner."


Wasps: Southwell; Varndell, Mayor, Bell, Wade; Robinson, Berry; Payne, Webber, Broster; Wentzel, Birkett; Launchbury, Poff, Hart.

Replacements: Filipo for Launchbury (67), Everard for Birkett (73), McIntyre for Broster (80).

Not Used: Castex, Lindsay, Holmes, Davies, Wallace.

Bath: Abendanon; Carraro, Hipkiss, Williams, Biggs; Heathcote, Claassens; Flatman, Dixon, Palma-Newport; Attwood, Caldwell; Skirving, Mercer, Taylor.

Replacements: Cuthbert for Williams (40), McMillan for Claassens (67), Beech for Flatman (67), Beattie for Skirving (67), Lilley for Palma-Newport (73).

Not Used: Batty, Spencer, Roberts.

Attendance: 6,835

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU).

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see also
Newcastle Falcons 15-10 Wasps
02 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Bath 26-25 Leicester
01 Oct 11 |  Bath
Rugby Union commentaries
14 Feb 13 |  Rugby Union

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