“Piutau Punishes Poor Wasps” – Ulster 19 Wasps 9 – 13 October 2017

Success at top level sport is often about confidence and momentum. A little luck can help too. 

Yet for a sorry looking Wasps team, they are currently desperately short of all three. They tackled strongly, but lacked spark and imagination in attack, creating virtually nothing. Their renowned back line is badly misfiring.

The first half, played in light drizzle, was scrappy and littered with errors. Turnovers aplenty, territory spurned.  Wasps shaded it, yet it could have been better, with rolling maul opportunities spurned. 

The second half was entirely different. Ulster were ferocious, knocking Wasps back at the gain line, dominating possession and territory and attacking directly and with purpose. The crowd raised their voices. It became one way traffic. Wasps could barely get a touch.

A team can only tackle so much. The dam was surely going to burst. Piutau arced around Wade and put Stockdale over for the try, behind Le Roux. Disappointing.

Two minutes later and disaster. A high kick fortuitously bounced into the hands of Stockdale, Piutau raced clear and, with the Wasps defence stretched, McCloskey was over. A killer blow.

Further errors and indiscipline cost Wasps. Lealiifano’s penalty punished Bassett’s unnecessary high tackle, sealing their fate. No losing bonus point consolation either.

There is little solace in a former hero coming back to haunt you, yet ultimately the match was decided by the dazzling effervescent Piutau. Simply world class, his performance contrasting markedly with that of his counterpart Le Roux.


Friday 13th was unlucky for Wasps. Teams often create their own luck yet Wasps did little to warrant much assistance from the rugby gods.


This defeat could not be blamed on injuries, more a continuation of a general malaise. Wasps need to find their mojo and form quickly. Next Sunday at the Ricoh would be a good place to start. 

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