Gloucester outshine Wasps
MATCH REPORT: Gloucester's late show ensure them a 36-18 impressive bonus-point victory over high-flying Wasps at Kingsholm.
James Hook had given Gloucester the lead after six minutes, but Wasps fought back through a Thomas Young try, before Richard Hibbard’s score kept the Cherry and Whites ahead.
After Jimmy Gopperth had moved Wasps ahead from the tee, Mark Atkinson capitalised on a Danny Cipriani mistake to reclaim the lead before Matt Scott extended their advantage.
Wasps threatened to come from behind when Young grabbed his second try, but Sharples wrapped up the bonus-point win after superb work from Willi Heinz before Henry Purdy added further gloss at the death.
Hook opened the scoring with a penalty on six minutes after Wasps were pinged for not releasing in the tackle after brilliant defensive work from Welsh hooker Hibbard.
It was the visitors who grabbed the game’s first try, Tommy Taylor finding his man at the lineout and Young was the one to cross, but Gopperth pushed his kick wide.
Gloucester produced a carbon copy ten minutes later after penalty took Gloucester Rugby deep into Wasps territory and Hibbard touched down thanks to a superb driving maul.
Wasps started the brighter after the break, Young carrying well and providing go-forward, but could not quite break down Gloucester’s gritty defence – Henry Purdy and Willi Heinz making crucial interventions to deny Young’s side.
Gopperth made a breakthrough from the tee after Gloucester were penalised at the scrum with ten minutes gone in the second period before giving Wasps with a second moments later.
Hook missed a chance to restore Gloucester’s lead from the tee, but a series of errors from Cipriani then handed the initiative back to the Cherry and Whites.
Wasps’ flyhalf failed to collect a bobbling ball and John Afoa was able to hack on his miscued clearance attempt handing Atkinson an easy score.
Welsh playmaker Hook then fired over the conversion before Scott crashed over for a converted try following excellent Gloucester work at the lineout.
Substitute Ashley Johnson – carrying superbly since his introduction – made a bust with five minutes remaining to set up Young for his second try of the afternoon.
But Sharples used his electric pace to claim Heinz’ fine kick before Purdy grabbed the fifth after Scott hacked the ball through Wasps’ line and the young three-quarter outstripped Johnson to score.
Tries: Hibbard, Atkinson, Scott, Sharples, Purdy
Cons: Hook 4
Tries: Young 2
Pens: Gopperth 2
Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Mat Protheroe, 23 Ollie Thorley
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Kyle Eastmond, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan (captain)
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Frank Halai, 23 Alapati Leiua
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Simon McConnell
TMO: David Rose