Wasps climb to fourth in Aviva Premiership by beating Gloucester
Last Updated: 02/03/15 11:03am
Wasps continued their fine form since arriving at the Ricoh Arena with a 32-21 Aviva Premiership win over Gloucester.
They have beaten London Irish, Sale and Harlequins since they swapped Adams Park for the home of Coventry City, but were forced to come from behind to claim their fourth maximum points win of the campaign.
Ross Moriarty's converted try and a penalty from James Hook had seen Gloucester leading 10-0 after 25 minutes, but Wasps roared back with tries from Thomas Young, Rob Miller and Elliot Daly to go into the break 17-13 ahead.
The hosts then added two more tries in the second half, Young again and replacement Guy Thompson going over either side of a score from Gloucester wing Henry Purdy, to seal a ninth Premiership win of the campaign.
That result looked unlikely midway through the first half, though, as it was Gloucester, who had won seven of eight matches in all competitions since going down 30-23 to Wasps at Kingsholm in December, who looked on course for the spoils.
Wasps barely had a sniff of Gloucester territory in the opening 25 minutes and, by then, the Cherry and Whites had built a useful advantage.
Hook missed his first penalty from 35 metres but then booted a longer kick to set Gloucester on their way after eight minutes, and the visitors notched the first try in the 18th minute when Mark Atkinson received the ball near the home 22 and slipped a beautiful pass to Moriarty, who touched down under the posts.
But Wasps eventually found some attacking rhythm and, when a gap appeared 25 metres out, Young grabbed the chance to reduce the deficit, when he danced around full-back Charlie Sharples to go over with Andy Goode adding the extras.
That try seemed to hurt Gloucester, especially in defence, and after Hook extended their lead to 13-7 they were made to pay for their inefficiency in keeping hold of possession.
Wasps would score three more tries in six minutes either side of half-time to guarantee themselves a bonus point, starting when Hook's loose clearance allowed prop Jake Cooper-Woolley to field and start a move that ended with Tom Varndell setting up Miller for a try in the corner.
Two minutes before the break, Wasps went ahead for the first time with a piece of opportunism. A kick from halfway to the unmarked Gloucester right saw Wade field the ball and set-up Daly for a try that Goode had two attempts to convert but missed both times.
And just a minute after the restart, Young grabbed his second try and the bonus point when fellow flanker Ashley Johnson stole through the lacklustre cover and put his colleague, who was on his shoulder, away.
Wasps lost centre James Downey when he was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on five metres from his line as Gloucester threatened to go over.
Atkinson was denied a try under the posts when TMO Trevor Fisher saw an infringement in the build-up to his touchdown involving flanker Matt Kvesic and scrum-half Dan Robson, but Gloucester did hit back when Purdy just sneaked in at the left corner thanks to an offload from centre Bill Meakes.
But it was Wasps who finished stronger with Goode stretching the lead to 27-21 with a penalty before Thompson finished off a charge on the right by replacement wing Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Victory lifted Wasps above Bath into fourth place, level on points with Saracens and Exeter above them, while Gloucester remain eighth, 12 points adrift of the top six.