“Wasps In Cruse Control ” – Wasps 26 Ulster 7

In torrential rain and on an extremely muddy pitch, Wasps produced a complete all round performance to thoroughly dominate their Irish opponents and cruise to a comprehensive victory.

Alas, their bonus point victory was not enough to propel them into the quarter-finals. Similarly, defeat for the Ulster men also ended their interest in the competition.  

Wasps have an excellent home record in this competition, having won all three matches comprehensively, by 31, 18 and 19 points, conceding only 20 points in the process. Alas, their three away defeats badly let them down, despite scoring four tries plus at both La Rochelle and Harlequins. Harsh lessons indeed and such a disappointment for a club that strive success at this level.

Despite the wretched conditions on Sunday, they played with pace, purpose and adventure, orchestrated as ever by  Cipriani. Their forwards  dominated in both the tight and the loose, winning numerous turnovers and collisions throughout the match. 

Man of the match, Tom Cruse, was particularly prominent, as were his back row colleagues Guy Thompson, the young tyro Jack Willis and Nizam Carr, playing his last game for the club. Carr has been exceptional in his short stay, showing speed, strength and agility, as well as deft hands and footwork. Wasps will surely hope to resign him next year.

It was something of a surprise that Wasps only scored four tries, such was their dominance. Thompson scored the first after a forward drive following a line out; Cruse the second after collecting a precise chip from Willie Le Roux to dive over in the in-goal area; Le Roux himself sprinted into the corner for the third and, finally, Jake Cooper-Woolley, showed good footwork and strength to power over from close range for the fourth.

However, it was all in vain. Ultimately, there were no winners at the Ricoh,  the only winner was Saracens, who sneaked into the quarter finals as a result of Ulster not scoring a bonus point.  Of all the teams for Wasps to do a favour ? 

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