Worcester Warriors 10-24 Wasps

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Marcus Watson came in to replace Christian Wade for Wasps, and scored a fine individual try
Aviva Premiership
Worcester (7) 10
Tries: Alo Pens: Olver Cons: Heathcote
Wasps (10) 24
Tries: Watson, Le Roux, Bassett Pens: Gopperth Cons: Gopperth 3

Wasps were made to fight hard before two late tries earned victory in the Midlands derby at Worcester.

After Marcus Watson’s converted try and a Jimmy Gopperth penalty put the visitors 10-0 up, Biyi Alo’s converted try reduced the lead before half-time.

Replacement Sam Olver’s penalty then levelled the scores at 10-10 but another effort struck the post.

Two late tries by Willie Le Roux and Josh Bassett, both improved by Gopperth, settled Wasps’ nerves.

Worcester’s defeat came at a further cost, with the loss of prop Nick Schonert to a suspected broken ankle and another concussion blow for the returning Tom Heathcote.

In their first home fixture of the season, coming off the back of an opening weekend 35-8 drubbing at Newcastle, Warriors got off to a nightmare start against last term’s Premiership runners-up when they lost injured prop Nick Schonert in the first minute.

Gopperth’s penalty, followed by his conversion of Watson’s beautifully created solo try in the right corner, added to the pain.

But Worcester ended the first half well, having a Tom Heathcote try chalked off for obstruction before replacement prop Alo finally crossed on the stroke of half-time to narrow the gap to 10-7.

And, by the 57th minute, they were back on level terms after a penalty from replacement stand-off Olver on his home debut.

But the thin margin between success and failure was then neatly encapsulated when Olver hit the left post with a second penalty attempt.

By contrast, at the other end, Wasps full-back Le Roux went clear down the left to score and, unlike Olver’s kick, Gopperth’s conversion went in off the post.

Gopperth also added a further two – for an individual nine-point haul – to winger Bassett’s late try, set up by Danny Cipriani with a delicious chip kick.

Warriors boss Gary Gold told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

“To lose Nick Schonert was a blow. It looks like he may have broken his ankle. And we lost Tom Heathcote to another bang on the head.

“Wasps were last year’s finalists and are a very good team. They scored 50 points last week. And there’s a long way to go with lots of twists and turns.

“But we’ve got to improve and we’ve got to do it quickly. Nobody can question our commitment. We just need to work on our accuracy.”

Wasps boss Dai Young told BBC Sport:

“These are games you can lose and it was a little bit cruel on Worcester not to get a losing bonus point. But I always felt we had something in hand.

“When a team scores just before half-time they gain momentum and it took us a long time in the second half to turn it round but we defended well and I was pleased with our resolve.

“It was a great finish by Marcus Watson but no surprise. That’s why we signed him. And Josh Bassett took his try well too.”

Worcester Warriors: Adams; Humphreys, Te’o, Willison, Heem; Heathcote, Arr; Bower, Singleton, Schonert, O’Callaghan (capt), Phillips, Cox, Lewis, van Velze.

Replacements: Taufete’e, Waller, Alo, Scotland-Williamson, Faosiliva, Stringer, Olver, Shillcock.

Wasps: Le Roux; Watson, Lovobalavu, Gopperth, Bassett; Cipriani, Robson; McIntrye, Johnson, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Myall, Rieder, Thompson, Hughes.

Replacements: Cruse, Mullan, Doran-Jones, Symons, Willis, Simpson, Macken, Miller.

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