Wasps Comeback At The Death
The game of the weekend was undoubtedly on Saturday afternoon at Adams Park. Wasps fought back from 18-30 down at half time through Dave Walder’s boot and Richard Haughton’s opportunistic score with five minutes to go. Written off by many ahead of the game, including myself, it looks as though at half time Wasps were in for a hiding after the break. But they rallied, no doubt after some harsh words from Shaun Edwards and Tony Hanks. Much has been spoken about the fact that Wasps are not the force they once were, but it will be interesting to see how they progress after Saturday’s result.
Treviso Stun Leinster
Treviso struck the first blow for Italian sides in this year’s Magners League by stunning Leinster at home. Leinster, without Brian O’Driscoll and Johnny Sexton, were punished by the boot of number 9 Tobias Botes and tries from Luke McLean and Brendan Williams. It’s a big moment for Treviso and Italian rugby, and hopefully will be the first of many wins this season as they look to establish themselves in the competition.
Gloucester’s Remarkable Indiscipline
My first live game of the season was at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and one thing that became apparent was that Gloucester could be in for a very rough ride this season. They conceded 19 penalties in the match, with at least 6 or 7 of these coming at the scrum, where their pack struggled all game. Whilst they scored right at the death, for much of the game their attack was toothless, and there didn’t really look to be any real penetration. Worrying times for coach Bryan Redpath and the Cherry and White fans.
Henson Left With Nowhere To Go
Toby Booth after the match on Sunday night clearly pointed out that there was very little chance of the Welsh centre joining London Irish. Booth stated that having had no contact from Henson there was “a 1% chance” of a deal being done. This means that all the London clubs have publicly ruled themselves out, leaving Henson without any options in his desired destination. Which leaves the question, what does he do now?
Try of the weekend goes to Mark Cueto of Sale. Nick MacLeod, who was excellent with the boot all game for the Sharks, flung a pass out wide to Ben Cohen, who flicked the ball over his head to the on-rushing Cueto. Some great hands capping a great second half comeback by the Sharks.
This weekend’s Hero title was hotly contested, mainly by a few Wasps players. It goes to Riki Flutey, for his outstanding chase and tackle on Thomas Waldrom, stopping the rampaging number eight just short of the line. A huge effort from the England inside centre.
The Villain title certainly had a couple of contenders from Gloucester, their scrum’s persistent indiscretions and Mike Tindall’s blatant pull back on Delon Armitage to name two, but it goes to the unfortunate Geordan Murphy. After nearly 80 long physical minutes, the Leicester captain’s concentration lapsed, and Richard Haughton pounced. No one will come down harder on Murphy than himself, but it certainly cost Leicester a game they should have won.
By Ben Coles (@bennycoles)