Aviva Premiership: London Wasps too strong for Newcastle Falcons
Last Updated: 27/12/13 10:17pm
Charlie Davies: Spins out a pass for Wasps
Wasps climbed into the Aviva Premiership top six with a 17-12 victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park.
The Londoners had too much nous and efficiency in difficult windy conditions for the struggling Falcons and were never particularly troubled once Sam Jones gave them the lead with a try converted by Andy Goode.
The Wasps fly-half added a penalty to give the visitors a 10-0 lead at half-time and the four points were in the bag once Ashley Johnson was driven over by a rolling maul from a lineout penalty, with Goode again converting.
Noah Cato crossed for a score on the hour mark - Newcastle's first try in more than six hours of Premiership rugby - and William Welch's short-range try in added time earned the Falcons a losing bonus point.
The Falcons dominated possession early on and won a couple of penalties in quick succession, but opted to kick to touch on both occasions, with Wasps defending their attacks well to win a penalty of their own to relieve the pressure.
The home side failed to put their possession to good use and when Chris Pilgrim's kick was charged down by Joe Launchbury, Jones reacted first to pounce on the loose ball to score the opening try of the game, with Goode adding the extras to give the Wasps a 7-0 lead.
Wasps had a chance to extend their lead with a penalty in a good position, but Goode lost his footing and the kick fell wide of the posts.
The visitors, still trying to take a proper hold of the match, managed to extend the gap as Ally Hogg was adjudged to be off his feet, with Goode atoning for his earlier slip-up, converting a penalty from 10 metres out against a testing wind.
Newcastle were presented with what seemed to be, a straightforward opportunity to get some points on the board with a penalty, but Phil Godman's attempt was pulled wide and they remained 10 points behind at half time.
Following the trend of the first half, Wasps managed to repel Newcastle's attacks before Johnson drove over the line from a close-range maul, with Goode adding the extras.
The Falcons finally managed to get over the line after Alex Tait offloaded to Cato who arrived on the perfect line to score, before Godman's conversion attempt swirled away from the posts to leave them trailing by 12.
Newcastle continued to see plenty of the ball and piled on the late pressure. After 83 minutes and a James Haskell sin-binning, Welch dived over the line from two metres out to secure the bonus point, with Godman adding the extras.
Sat 16th May
Bath50 - 30Gloucester
Exeter44 - 16Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers22 - 14Northampton
London Irish40 - 40Wasps
London Welsh17 - 68Saracens
Newcastle Falcons37 - 21Harlequins
Sat 23rd May - Semi Final
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Bath0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round 11
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies admitted life with his team is "pretty stressful with this lot at present."
Gloucester secured their fourth win of the Premiership season after holding off a late fightback from London Irish.
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea welcomed a "very, very big win" over Exeter at Twickenham.