Watson's sting stears Wasps to victory

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:53
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PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Marcus Watson scored the crucial try as Wasps secured a tight victory against Exeter Chiefs.

The wing dived over in the corner in the only score of the first half, before Luke Cowan-Dickie hit back after the break.

However, the returning Jimmy Gopperth proved to be the hero, as he booted two penalties to secure victory for Wasps against the defending champions.

The win moves Wasps to just four points behind Exeter Chiefs and five off league leaders Saracens.

Wasps were hit with an injury blow prior to kick-off, with centre Juan de Jongh ruled out and replaced by Fijian Gaby Lovobalavu.

Exeter made a solid start and kept Wasps pinned in their own half, but it was the hosts who hit the front as Willie le Roux delivered a delightful pass for Watson, who finished in the corner.

Sam Hill was sin-binned for his tackle on Le Roux in the build-up and Wasps almost made them pay when opposite wing Josh Bassett touched down - only for it to be ruled out through for a forward pass.

Exeter kept it tight for the rest of the half although they were unable to get on the scoreline themselves.

Wasps extended their lead after the break as the returning Jimmy Gopperth calmly slotted through a penalty but they were reduced to 14 men momentarily when Ashley Johnson was sin-binned.

And Exeter made them pay as hooker Cowan-Dickie powered over for the 12th Premiership try of his career.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Gopperth 2

For Exeter Chiefs:
Con: Steenson

Yellow cards: Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 13), Ashley Johnson (Wasps, 59 )


Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Gaby Lovobalavu, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Jack Willis, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Gaskell (captain), 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Alex Rieder, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Christian Wade.

Exeter: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Don Armand, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Ian Whitten.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Karl Dickson
TMO: Sean Davey

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Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 22 17 0 5 85
Saracens 22 16 0 6 77
Wasps 22 14 1 7 71
Newcastle Falcons 22 14 0 8 63
Leicester Tigers 22 13 0 9 63
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Gloucester 22 11 1 10 56
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Harlequins 22 7 0 15 36
Worcester Warriors 22 7 0 15 36
London Irish 22 3 0 19 22