A Thomas Young brace and 17 points inside seven second-half minutes were the catalysts for a champion performance from Wasps at the Stoop.
Despite playing more than an hour without centre Kyle Eastmond after he was dismissed for a high tackle on Marcus Smith, Wasps managed to score six tries in a 44-22 success over Harlequins.
Thomas Young Scores Twice in Win Over Harlequins
Early tries from Juan De Jongh and Thomas Young looked to set Wasps on their way before Eastmond’s dismissal looked to potentially change the course of the encounter. Tim Visser’s try cut the gap before Naill Morris levelled the scores early in the second period.
Harlequins appeared to have the thrust themselves into the ascendancy feeding off the feel good factor that is still lingering around Twickenham following England’s Six Nations victory. Only Leicester Tigers have come to the Stoop and won this year but Wasps followed in the footsteps of their Midlands rivals.
First Thomas Young scored his second after an initial break from Dan Robson, Willie Le Roux wrapped up the bonus point before Tom Kruse and Josh Bassett added some deserving star dusts to a five star performance.
Ill Discipline Proves Irrelevant
On 17 minutes the majority of the Stoop found themselves chanting “off off off” at referee Wayne Barnes in a football ground like manner; the man in the middle delivered.
The challenge on Smith was high and bought the usual adjectives: reckless, with force and everyone’s favourite “left with no option”. Eastmond was understandably frustrated as he left the field but even the Wasps coaching team will have been understanding of the decision.
Ultimately it mattered little in the end for Wasps with Harlequins performing so far below the desired levels that Director of Rugby John Kingston claimed his side had “let their families down”. He did go on to describe Wasps as “lethal” following their six try display.
Quins famous comeback in this same fixture on the European stage a month ago served as motivation for the visitors. “We gave them broken field and they’re lethal. Then suddenly you’re asking yourselves to come back from 15/20 points down. Well we did it a month ago but we talked all week about the fact that you can’t be asking yourselves to do that all the time.”
Smiles All Round for Young
The Young household will be all smiles tonight with Dad Dai seeing his side go up to third and son Thomas add two more tries to his growing number of scores.
Some no doubt wondering why Thomas Young wasn’t featuring in the stadium just across the road 24 hours earlier; but that conversation is for another time. The same could be said for Robson and even Cipriani, but within Wasps there seems to be an acceptance that once ships sail don’t go chasing it into the sunset.
It’s wasted energy and we are sure Young Snr won’t be bemoaning the resources at his disposal whilst the Six Nations continues. Nathan Hughes returned after two months out as did Jimmy Gopperth to bring Wasps’ squad somewhat back to full strength. James Haskell is available next week following his ban and Young admitted post match that, provided England don’t come calling, Elliot Daly looks set to feature against Exeter next week.
These are all ifs and buts of course; with Sam Simmonds exiting yesterday Hughes could well be summoned and Daly, if fit, will surely be back in the mix. Haskell perhaps not, although he has been in and around the England camp this week.
Gopperth’s timely return though allows for the return of his 10-12 axis with Cipriani heading into a clash with the Chiefs that, should Wasps win well, could put them to within two points of the leaders.
“We all realise we’ve got quality in the squad but I felt today we showed some real quality, some real guts. We had to adjust our game plan a little bit at half time. The message was control the game but if somethings on try and take it.” Said the Wasps boss.
He was also keen to praise his side’s defence, even if it wasn’t in the environment he would’ve wished: “I hope we don’t have to get someone sent off every game to step up our defence, but it’s been a constant work on for us. We’ve been banging that drum that a try saved us as good as a try scored.”
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