Wasps smash weak Scarlets
Wasps moved to the top of Pool Five with a resounding 40-7 victory over an injury-hit Scarlets side at Adams Park.
Last Updated: 13/01/08 3:22pm
Wasps moved to the top of Pool Five with a resounding 40-7 Heineken Cup victory over an injury-hit Scarlets side at Adams Park.
The defending champions showed no sympathy to their understrength opponents, running in six tries to claim what could be a crucial bonus point.
Their mixture of power up front and pace in the backs simply proved too much for the visitors, even though Wasps did have to make more tackles in the opening half.
Minus 11 starters, the Scarlets were always going to struggle to contain a team eager to make amends for missed bonus-point opportunities this season.
However, it took the hosts just six minutes to score their first try and they added three more before half time to wrap up the maximum five points with 40 minutes still to play.
Eoin Reddan, who was taken off just before the hour with the job done, and Danny Cipriani excelled at nine and 10, while James Haskell was outstanding in both attack and defence to further his claims for a place in England's pack.
From the moment Fraser Waters slid over to open the scoring the game was as good as over, Cipriani adding the first of four conversions to make it 7-0.
It was something of a surprise that Wasps had to wait another 11 minutes to score again, Phil Vickery barging over from close range with the help of a few sizeable friends.
The Scarlets managed a try of their own through prop Deacon Manu, though that simply appeared to anger Wasps into answering straight back.
A turnover was turned into seven points, as Riki Flutey's perfectly-weighted kick allowed full-back David Doherty, a late call-up to replace Mark Van Gisbergen, to mark his European debut with a try.
Dominic Waldouck accepted Paul Sackey's inside pass to run in the fourth just before the break, Cipriani's successful kick making it 26-7.
Despite the points being in the bag Wasps did not let up in a second half that was almost entirely played out inside Scarlets territory.
Rob Hoadley, on for the injured Flutey, managed to score with his first touch, sliding in close to the left touchline after the ball had been moved across the field.
The sub was denied a second shortly after by a last-ditch tackle from Darren Daniel, although the Scarlets winger turned from saint to sinner later on when he was yellow carded for lying on in the tackle.
Sackey scored the sixth and final try of the afternoon courtesy of a back-of-the-hand flick pass from Lawrence Dallaglio, who appears determined to round out his rugby career with a third triumph in the competition.
Before the former England international can dream of another final appearance he and his colleagues must first get past Munster next week in a what will be a crunch clash between two Heineken Cup heavyweights.