Wasps late show sinks Sarries
Wasps produced three tries in the final ten minutes to turn what looked set to be a defeat into a 33-24 win over Saracens.
Last Updated: 20/12/08 5:27pm
Wasps produced three tries in the final ten minutes to turn what looked set to be a defeat into a 33-24 win over Saracens at Adams Park.
Substitute Dave Walder provided the spark for the hosts as his passes set up tries for Rob Hoadley and Josh Lewsey, while Paul Sackey helped himself to an opportunist try following a charge-down.
Sarries will be kicking themselves for letting their late lead slip, but in truth the victory was little more than Wasps deserved as they dominated for long periods without turning their superiority into points.
A prime example came within minutes of the kick-off with scrum-half Eoin Reddan's good work setting up a great chance for Sackey only for the England wideman to knock-on with the line at his mercy.
They did move ahead shortly afterwards as the Saracens defence were penalised following a break from Hoadley and Danny Cipriani knocked over the resulting penalty.
Saracens were back on terms almost instantly as the Premiership's top scorer Glen Jackson responded in kind after Wasps failed to roll away at the breakdown.
Cipriani had chances to edge his side back ahead but missed with both a penalty and a long-range drop-goal, but the fly-half did find his range on 12 minutes to make the score 6-3.
Despite controlling territory, the hosts struggled to press home their advantage and a second Jackson penalty on the half hour mark brought Saracens level.
Wasps did though head for the dressing rooms with their noses in front as Cipriani landed his third successful penalty shortly before the half-time whistle.
But the sin-binning of Tom Palmer early in the second period prompted something of a collapse from Wasps as Jackson kicked the subsequent penalty to again restore parity, before England under-20 Grand Slam winner Noah Cato scored a fine try to move the visitors ahead.
Alex Goode released Cato following a scrum and the winger had too much power for Wasps full-back Lachlan Mitchell as finished well to put his side 17-9 up.
That was the way things stayed until Walder replaced Mitchell on 64 minutes and kicked a penalty to close the gap to five points just two minutes later.
The former Newcastle man then orchestrated the home side's grandstand finish, spinning out wide for Hoadley to touch down after several phases up front - Cipraini kicked the conversion to put Wasps back in front and was on target again as two more tries followed.
Sackey reacted well after charging down a Cato kick to increase the lead with seven minutes remaining, while Lewsey's powerful burst resulted in a score under the posts.
Cato did restore some respectability with his second try in the final minute, but Wasps had done enough to maintain their momentum with a fourth consecutive win.