Bristol swot away Wasps
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bristol continued their fine start to the new season with a 26-21 victory over Wasps.
Guinness Premiership, Memorial Ground, Sunday September 24,
Bristol continued their fine start to the new Guinness Premiership season with a 26-21 win over Wasps.
Richard Hill's side, who were tipped by many to struggle this year, scored four tries to claim the bonus point and move to the top of the table.
Wasps did manage to salvage a bonus point, although they could have left the Memorial Ground with even more had they not fallen foul of referee Roy Maybank on so many occasions.
Lock Simon Shaw and prop Peter Bracken were both shown yellow cards by the official as the visitors played part of the game with just 13 men.
However, even at full strength Wasps struggled against a Bristol side that turned in a five-star display.
Shaun Perry led the way with an impressive display that furthered his claims for England's number nine shirt in the autumn internationals.
The scrum-half was involved in the opening try of the afternoon as his quickly-taken penalty allowed Darren Crompton to score his second try in as many matches.
Wasps looked shell-shocked by Bristol's fast start, but they slowly came into the game before two quick-fire tries put them in front.
Paul Sackey grabbed both, firstly with a bursting 35-metre run and then when Dave Walder's long pass allowed him to squeeze over out wide.
The winger was also involved in the final try of the opening 40 minutes, although this time he was to play the villain as he failed to stop Bristol winger David Lemi levelling the scores at 12 apiece.
With Shaw and Bracken both sent to the sin bin just before the break, Wasps did well not to concede any further points, although both players didn't last much longer when they returned to the field as injuries forced them off.
Neither side seemed capable of playing the flowing rugby that had been on display in the first half, but it was Bristol who dug deep to forge their way ahead through a Dan Ward-Smith try.
Jason Strange added the conversion and, although Walder reduced the gap to one with a penalty, the hosts sealed the win when patient build-up play resulted in Josh Taumalolo crossing the line.