Wasps beaten by Harlequins in fierce contest at The Stoop
Wasps were beaten 24-8 in a fiercely fought contest against Harlequins
Wasps were beaten 24-8 in a fiercely fought contest against Harlequins. The hosts made the most of their chances during the opening 60 minutes before a strong finish by Wasps in front of a large crowd at the Twickenham Stoop.
The game began as expected in a nervy affair, two penalties exchanged between the sides the only scores in the first 20 minutes. Wasps opened with good territory, pinning the hosts back but were unable to capitalise. The Harlequins strong driving maul then proved devastating, as it resulted in two tries before half time.
After a penalty in midfield, Harlequins lineout provided a strong platform inside the Wasps 22m. The resulting maul drove Wasps back over the line with Davinia Catlin finishing the score. Despite the best efforts of Wasps defence in open play, it was another driving maul that saw the hosts extend their lead. With two minutes till half time, Davinia Catlin was on the end of another driving maul to give Harlequins a 17-3 lead at the break.
Harlequins started the second half with a long period of pressure inside the Wasps 22m. Despite the best efforts of the visitors, holding the ball up over the try line twice in quick succession, Fiona Fletcher scored under the posts at the base of a powerful scrum.
Wasps began to work themselves back into the game with possession in good areas, but handling errors cost the visitors. Wasps maintained dominance into the latter stages of the game but were unable to convert, during a fragmented final 20 minutes which saw four yellow cards. Ellie Green & Emily Scott saw yellow for the hosts, while Lizzie Goulden & Claudia MacDonald were sent to the bin for Wasps.
The visitors finally crossed the whitewash with two minutes left on the clock. After an initial break by Amy Wilson Hardy, Wasps set up a good platform to attack from a strong scrum. The ball was spread out wide quickly and Garnet Mackinder used her pace to beat the final defender and race in for the score.
Wasps looked competitive throughout despite the score line, and were starved of possession for large parts of the match. A strong defensive effort kept the hosts to three tries, despite sustained periods of pressure for Harlequins. The hosts set piece proved a real weapon, as it provided all three of their scores.
Wasps now turn their attention to an important fixture against Gloucester-Hartpury at the end of the month. In only the second match at Twyford Avenue this season, Wasps face the side in 5th position and only one point behind the black and gold.