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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 May, 2003, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Wasps romp to title
Josh Lewsey
Lewsey's tries set Wasps on their way to victory
Gloucester 3-39 Wasps

Wasps destroyed Gloucester in glorious sunshine at Twickenham on Saturday to claim the Zurich Premiership title.

The Cherry and Whites may have finished 15 points clear of Wasps in the table but they were seven points behind after just two minutes in the Premiership final and never got into the match.

Gloucester had three weeks without a game leading up to the final, while Wasps were involved in competitive matches all the way up to Twickenham, and they were much the sharper side right from the first whistle.

Josh Lewsey scored two tries in the first half, with Joe Worlsey adding a third after the break. Twenty four points from the boot of Alex King ultimately sealed affairs.

It was a desperate end to an impressive season for Gloucester, whose only points came from a Ludovic Mercier penalty in his final game for the club.

MATCH SUMMARY
Gloucester: 3
Tries:
Cons:
Pens: Mercier
Wasps: 39
Tries: Lewsey (2), Worsley
Cons: King (3)
Pens: King (4)
Drop goals: King (2)
The match started in spectacular fashion with Lewsey scoring under the posts after Stuart Abbott had cut the Gloucester defence to shreds.

King converted and although Mercier kicked a long-range penalty two minutes later, they were to be the only points the Cherry and Whites could manage throughout the match.

Wasps immediately went on the attack again and two King penalties gave Wasps a 13-3 lead after just 11 minutes.

The Wasps pack dominated in every aspect of the game and they extended their lead to 16-3 through a King drop goal.

As half-time approached, Gloucester were desperately hanging on and they conceded their second try when Lewsey raced over down the blindside, with King converting.

Gloucester could have cut the gap on the stroke of half-time when they kicked a penalty into the corner, but they had been error-prone all half and once again spilled the ball to let Wasps off the hook.

All the momentum we had gathered in the last few months disappeared
Nigel Melville
Gloucester coach
If things had gone badly in the first half, they quickly got worse at the start of the second half.

King refused to give the ball to Gloucester scrum-half Andy Gomarsall after Wasps had been penalised and an infuriated Gomarsall lost his cool with the Wasps number 10.

The referee sent Gomarsall to the sin-bin and reversed the penalty, which King duly sloted to extend Wasps' lead.

Five minutes later King added his second drop goal to make it 29-3 and with half-an-hour to go it became a question of whether or not Gloucester could at least regain some pride.

But the West County side looked a pale shadow of the team that comfortably topped the Zurich Premiership table and every time they tried to spin it wide the ball went to ground.

HAVE YOUR SAY

King nudged Wasps further ahead with a penalty on the hour mark and the contrast in fortunes with his opposite number, Mercier, were vivdily illustrated when the Frenchman was helped from the pitch with 12 minutes to play.

Wasps rounded off the scoring when Gloucester spilled the ball as they tried to run from their own 22 and Worsley pounced to score.

King then capped an impressive day with the conversion as the dejected Gloucester hordes streamed for the exits.


Gloucester: Delport, Garvey, Fanolua, Paul, Simpson-Daniel, Mercier, Gomarsall, Roncero, Azam, Vickery, Eustace, Cornwell, Boer, Hazell, Paramore.
Replacements: Stuart-Smith, Amor, Todd, Collins, Deacon, Fidler, Buxton.

Wasps: van Gisbergen, Lewsey, Waters, Abbott, Logan, A. King, Howley, Dowd, Leota, W. Green, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Volley, Dallaglio.
Replacements: Wood, Greening, Denney, Erinle, Lock, Scrivener, Mackenzie.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (RFU)


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Ian Robertson
"Gloucester were annihilated "


Wasps' Lawrence Dallaglio
"That was a championship performance"


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