Amlin Challenge Cup: Wasps battle back to beat Bayonne at home
Last Updated: 18/10/13 8:42am
Wasps turned around a half-time deficit to defeat Bayonne 26-10 at Adams Park, putting them four points clear in Pool 4 of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
The Aviva Premiership side saw their line breached after just five minutes and by the break they found themselves 10-6 down to opponents who were searching for a first ever triumph on English soil.
However Wasps - who had run in 90 points against minnows Viadana in the first round of fixtures - maintained their perfect home record in the competition thanks to two tries in the space of three minutes.
Ed Jackson and Josh Basset touched down and with Andy Goode booting 16 points, the hosts coasted home in a match that saw James Haskell make his return from a knee injury off the bench.
And yet things had all looked so different at the halfway stage; Bayonne made the perfect start in their bid to break a barren run on their trips across The Channel when Sam Gerber broke the deadlock after just five minutes.
The winger was on hand to accept a somewhat dubious offload from centre Mattieu Ugalde and finish out wide on the right, Stephen Brett adding the conversion to make it 7-0.
Goode failed with his first shot at the posts but made no such mistake in the 17th and 25th minute, though Brett responded with three points of his own to establish a four-point gap.
It could have been a bigger cushion had full-back Scott Spedding not let the ball slip from his grasp as he reached out to plant it down over the line when under pressure from Christian Wade.
The closest Wasps had come to crossing arrived courtesy of Kearnan Myall before they stung their opponents with a quick-fire double in the third quarter of the contest.
After Goode had kicked an early penalty, a superb catch-and-drive from a line-out led to flanker Jackson barging his way over. Before Bayonne had chance to take stock their line was breached again, this time through elegant finesse rather than raw power.
An attacking move seemed to have lost momentum until Wade found the ball in his hand, the winger jinking clear and then bouncing off the turf to produce a pass that gave fellow wideman Bassett an easy run-in at the left corner.
Goode added both conversions and a further penalty, meaning the two-time Heineken Cup champions had managed to notch 20 points in the space of 17 minutes.
A bonus point at that stage looked possible but even with Bayonne seeing replacements Guillaume Bernad and Abdellatif Boutaty sin-binned late on, Wasps were able to settle for a morale-boosting four-pointer ahead of a home clash with Leicester in league action.
Amlin Challenge Cup week two 2013/14
Former champions Sale Sharks seized control of Amlin Challenge Cup Pool One with a 29-15 win over Worcester Warriors.
Worcester will aim to build on an encouraging result in France when they take on Sale in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
James Haskell will make his first appearance of the season when Wasps entertain Bayonne in the Amlin Challenge Cup.