Amlin Challenge Cup: Wasps take control of Pool 3 with victory over Bayonne
Last Updated: 14/12/12 2:58pm
Wasps put themselves firmly on course to reach the knockout stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup with a 30-16 victory over Pool 3 rivals Bayonne.
Elliot Daly scored a try and kicked a long-range penalty while Stephen Jones booted nine points to help the Aviva Premiership side ease into a 17-0 lead at Adams Park.
Yet Bayonne - who had surrendered a 10-0 advantage themselves to draw 13-all against the same opponents the previous weekend - threatened to mount a comeback, a try from Joe Rokocoko helping cut the gap to four points.
In the end, though, Wasps held their nerve under pressure, even with the outstanding Billy Vunipola in the sin-bin, and clinched a sixth straight win at home with a try from Andrea Masi.
Dai Young's side were cruising for almost the entirety of the first half, Jones knocking over three penalties to give them a comfortable cushion before Daly combined with winger Christian Wade to touch down.
The full-back was also involved in another key moment when he was taken out in the air by opposite number Scott Spedding, resulting in the Bayonne man seeing yellow. Daly picked himself up off the turf to slot over the three-pointer from well inside his own half.
However, the visitors suddenly began to warm to the occasion - not easy on a bitterly cold night in Wycombe - when they were down a man. They went in at the break with the much-needed boost of a try when excellent ball retention allowed Rokocoko to brush off Wade and score in the left corner.
Having missed two penalties, Jacques-Louis Potgieter finally found his kicking boots to add the conversion and, when James Haskell was penalised right in front of his posts soon after the restart, the fly-half knocked over three more to cut the gap down to single figures.
Both sides exchanged quick-fire penalties before Potgieter got his team to within four points of their opponents. If the home side were panicking a little at that stage the alarm bells were positively sounding when Vunipola was sin-binned for a shoulder charge that left poor Rokocoko in a heap.
But, just like their opponents, Wasps coped well when down to 14 and, when back to full strength, put the game to bed when centre Masi bulldozed over. Replacement fly-half Nicky Robinson converted and also slotted over a late penalty, meaning Bayonne didn't even return home with a losing bonus point.
Amlin Challenge Cup week four 2012/13
London Welsh have made four changes for their Amlin Challenge Cup fixture with Grenoble at the Kassam Stadium.
Hallam Amos returns to the Dragons' starting line-up to face Mogliano for their Amlin Cup Challenge match.
Dean Schofield returns to skipper Worcester against Perpignan in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday evening.