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Wasps 34-20 Worcester

By Ben Blackmore  

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Guinness Premiership, Causeway Stadium, Sunday September 25

Champions Wasps moved back into second place, level on points with leaders and perennial rivals Leicester, after a 34-20 victory over Worcester at the Causeway.

Mark van Gisbergen kicked 15 ponts, levelling Jonny Wilkinson's Premiership record of 28 straight successful kicks before missing with a straightforward penalty attempt in first half injury time.

But that never looked likely to prove costly as Wasps took their chances well with tries from Raphael Ibanez, Tom Voyce, Joe Worsley and Tim Payne.

Worcester made a fight of it with a first half try from Pat Sanderson and a late breakaway try from Nicols le Roux, both scores converted by Shane Drahm, who also added two penalties.

Wasps dominated the opening exchanges, scoring inside the first two minutes after Ayoola Erinle's neat footwork wrong-footed the Worcester midfield and support arrived to drive Ibanez over.

Van Gisbergen's conversion put him level with Wilkinson's record Premiership record of 28 successful kicks, but Worcester quickly rerplied after a series of line-out moves.

Sanderson was bulldozed over by the Worcester pack from a lineout after five minutes, with Drahm converting, but the Worcester man then missed an easy penalty after Matt Dawson swung a punch at prop Chris Horsman.

Drahm made no mistake from 40 metres on the half-hour mark and the visitors stayed ahead after Van Gisbergen missed from 40 metres in injury time after Worcester's backs were pinged for crossing.

Early in the second half Van Gisbergen made amends for that rare miss after a brilliant piece of opportunism from Stuart Abbott on his 50th Premiership appearance.

The centre kicked ahead and beat the covering defence of Jonny Hylton, then held off the tackler beforre offloading to Tom Voyce to score.

Van Gisbergen added the extras from wide on the left, then notched further penalties in the 48th and 50th minutes as Worcester began to struggle with Wasps' power and pace.

Drahm did manage his second penalty for the visitors, but Wasps surged 14 points clear on the hour with another piece of opportunism from a free-kick, Worsley taking Alex King's pass and brushing aside Drahm's tackle to power over the line.

Van Gisbergen - inevitably - converted and despite Le Roux's late effort, the champions still had the final say as Payne went over in injury-time.

Wasps: (7) 34
Tries: Ibanez, Voyce, Worsley, Payne
Cons: Van Gisbergen 4
Pens: Van Gisbergen 2

Worcester: (10) 20
Tries: Sanderson, Le Roux
Cons: Drahm 2
Pens: Drahm 2

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