Home Premiership 2017-18 Premiership Wrap – Wins for Wasps, Bath and Bristol

Premiership Wrap – Wins for Wasps, Bath and Bristol


Wasps and Bath moved into the Premiership top four with victories over Sale and Northamptonrespectively on Saturday, while Bristol saw off Harlequins.

Bath 17-15 Northampton Saints

Bath edged Northampton Saints 17-15 at the Rec to continue their good run of form, with the teams having gone into the break level at 7-7.

Northampton drew first blood through Cobus Reinach, who scored the first try of the game in the 18th minute after kicking and chasing. Dan Biggar converted.

However, Bath responded in style 10 minutes later when Freddie Burns intercepted a pass just outside his own 22 and ran the length of the field to score and convert.

The hosts came out strongest after the break, with Burns extending their lead through a penalty before the in-form Joe Cokanasiga gave them some breathing space, receiving the ball from Elliott Stooke and going in for the try. Burns added the conversion before Biggar closed the gap with a 72nd minute penalty.

There was to be a late twist afterwards as Tom Collins scored a try six minutes later after being set up by Alex Mitchell’s offload. However, Biggar’s conversion attempt came off the woodwork, giving Bath the narrowest of victories.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Burns, Cokanasiga
Cons: Burns 2
Pen: Burns

For Northampton:
Tries: Reinach, Collins
Cons: Biggar
Pen: Biggar

Bristol 20-13 Harlequins

Bristol Bears saw off Harlequins 20-13 at Ashton Gate, having led 11-10 at half-time, to return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats.

The visitors started the game on the front foot and were rewarded for their early pressure when Danny Care went over for the first try of the game from a pick-and-go in the seventh minute.

A conversion and penalty from James Lang stretched the lead to 10-0, but it was downhill from there for Harlequins for the rest of the first-half.

First, a 19th minute Ian Madigan penalty put the hosts on the board. Then, Ben Tapuai was yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Bristol did not capitalise on their temporary numerical advantage, but momentum was with them and they finally scored their first try through Piers O’Conor in the 35th minute.

Madigan nailed a penalty to put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time and two more shortly after the break, which came after a yellow card to Joe Marler for a high tackle on Andy Uren. Lang responded with a penalty of his own, but the Bristol fly-half then popped over another.

Quins’ indiscipline continued and Paul Lasike was yellow-carded for a no-arms hit in the 78th minute. The visitors were ultimately made to pay for their mistakes, as they were unable to fight back.

The scorers:

For Bristol:
Try: O’Conor
Pens: Madigan 5

For Harlequins:
Try: Care
Con: Lang
Pens: Lang 2
Yellow Cards: Tapuai, Marler, Lasike

Sale Sharks 13-31 Wasps

Wasps recovered from a shaky start to beat Sale 31-13 at the AJ Bell Stadium, having led 17-10 at half-time.

The visitors were hit by a yellow card in the first minute of the match, as Nathan Hughes was sin-binned for not rolling away near his own try-line.

Sale immediately capitalised on their early momentum and numerical advantage, as Jono Ross went over for the first try of the game from an attacking line-out in the second minute.

After a conversion and penalty from AJ MacGinty, in addition to a Lima Sopoaga penalty for Wasps, Nizaam Carr finally scored the visitors’ first try in the 34th minute of the game after a lovely pop-pass from Dan Robson, with Sopoaga adding the extras.

Wasps then took the lead on the stroke of half-time, with Michael Le Borgeois’ pass setting Josh Bassett up for the finish. Sopoaga converted from near the touchline.

MacGinty drew first blood after the break from a penalty, but Sale then lost Ben Curry to a yellow card for an early tackle on Willie le Roux. Will Stuart then scored from a pick-and-go from close range in the 52nd minute, with Sopoaga converting.

Hughes then added the cherry on top of the cake, forcing his way over from the back of the Wasps scrum and securing the bonus point try, with Sopoaga adding one last conversion.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:
Try: Ross
Con: MacGinty
Pens: MacGinty 2
Yellow Cards: B Curry

For Wasps:
Tries: Carr, Bassett, Stuart, Hughes
Cons: Sopoaga 4
Pen: Sopoaga
Yellow Card: Hughes

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  1. Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux has more international miles logged this year than Dolce & Gabbana COMBINED!
    Sunking is the Karl Lagerfeld of Rugby Union.

  2. @Americano:

    That he had to fly up North after flying East to West and then South again in the space of around a week… is absurd enough as it is… but likening him to dandy Karl Lagerfeld is an insult on it’s own…

  3. A few years ago Habana and Thor had to do the same…this is a flaw in World Rugby rules SARU can do nothing about it. If a club wants them for the two bye weeks they can insist in them to coming back. The reason why Faf stayed was that his club decided they will not recall him for the bye week.

    That is why England and NZ insist that player playing outside their leagues can not play for the national sides. Six Nations bye’s players also go back to their clubs if it falls outside their own leagues.

    Clear international window as in soccer is the only way forward.

    SARU and Rassie should have made better plans for Willie and not waited till Wasp director of rugby said he can go.

    Agree that they did not do enough with the Willie issue. Should have been treated the same as Faf

  4. Rassie should consider him as an emergency sub only – use the PE game to see if the A.Nother fullbacks can also up their game.

  5. @Jacques:

    Nah piss-weak from SARU yet again… there was no pressure for WLR to fly back for one game and then straight back for the next two… that came directly from the horse’s mouth. Erasmus was dilly-dallying and clearly didn’t even know WLR was available for these two tests, until the media and Wasp’s told them, such is the ‘confusion’.

    Thor did not ‘have to’ this year… they bowed to his ‘entitlement’ to go to Japan instead of playing test rugby… not like he is Dan Carter or some-fink… but now I’m just repeating myself.


    They should have been doing the same at half-back… 8 tests and only one has been given a start (other than Faf), yet he was dropped and 3 others have been given a grand total of around 10 mins each.

    Who would you give a start against the Wallabies at full-back instead of WLR?

  6. @bryce_in_oz: Like is said it happen before with Habana and Thor…

    The agreement was that Willie will only play until NZ game, I get this from the horses mouth not the media. Once Director of Rugby said if Rassie pick him he can go it change.

    I do agree planning should have been better… Thor agreement was from the start only EOY not Championships.

    Patato – Potato

  7. @bryce_in_oz: Ideally Gelant would have slotted in… I think Jessie can do it – showing Rassie whether he can cover centre, wing and FB as a sub in the WC.
    Willemse will be a brave call – and maybe unfair to the guy at this stage (better to bleed him as a sub for a few games).
    My preferred (and VERY brave!) call would be to put Kolbe there. Yes, Kolbe showed significant weaknesses in defence initially, but he made up for that towards the end of the game. Expecting the Wobblies to kick more on Saturday, I would be more than happy to have a quick and fleet-footed FB (and have Willie on the bench).

  8. @Jacques:

    Just winding you up mate lol.


    Yeah could work… but jeez Folau, Koroibete et al on Kolbe under the high-ball…

    I presume we’ll see Kolbe on the wing, WLR at 15, Kriel at 13 unless he’s rushing Nkosi back (or DDA for that matter seeing as though he’s already training). I know Ruhan Nel’s preferred position is 15… but the guys played only a handful of CC level games… would be great to see him covering the bench for 13/14/15… he’s much like Jordy Barret and the Boks could do with a beast in at least one of the back-row positions. Mapoe will make up the bench unless Rassie thrusts him into 13 as a starter which would also not surprise with politicians making noise.

  9. From what I gather, pack same except at 1 where beast starts. Same 9 and 10 combo as NZ, AE 12 kriel 13, dyanti and kolbe to wing it and wlr at the back.

  10. I know this is a must win match, but jeez we are light at 9, 10 and fb. Would’ve liked to have seen someone get an opportunity. Hope the bench options gets a go. I can see EJ coming on in second half with pollard moving to 12 again.

  11. @Aldo: Unfair to Kitsie, as he was great against ABs. Really hope they give WlR and Faf ample rest during this game – who cares about the Championship if the ABs are clinching it on Saturday anyway.

  12. @Bekke:

    Of course it is… he’s the arguably the best LH in world rugby right now… again. But Rassie has to bring out his pencil-testing kit again after the last test’s starters to appease the scum-bags.

  13. As an aside… for all the ‘depth’ punters keep purporting Rassie is making (at test level nogal) and the obvious dearth at 9/15… just what is being done at LH for when Kitschoff and Beast go down?

    He going to ‘re-re-tread’ one of the three ‘re-treaded’ TH’s back to LH?

  14. @Bekke: It is unfair, but that team is not cast in stone. Its just one rumour I’ve heard. Another is kitschoff starting and EJ starting in place of pollard. I reckon the numbers game has to be played, which is the only reason I can think. The good thing is, I think Jantjies had his best game at 10 at test level against the all Blacks. He is a confidence player and that would’ve been a massive confidence boost. Who knows, maybe on Saturday against the Aussies, he finally shows SuperRugby form at test level.

  15. @Craven:

    Of course he is… I don’t rate him at either… albeit LH is arguably his better position… his work-load and attributes as a second loosie (which is what I deem a LH should be after their scrum duties) are lacking in comparison to the rest.

    If he’s going to ‘re-re-tread’ then Coenie would be hands down my first choice back at LH where he should have been since he started his test journey, TDT next.

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