Battling Wasps sink Sarries

WASPS head coach Shaun Edwards insists Danny Cipriani’s impending departure will not derail their play-off charge after the fly-half kicked them to a 9-0 victory over Saracens.

England outcast Cipriani scored three penalties as Wasps completely shut out the Premiership’s early pacesetters and climbed into fourth place.

The talented No10 confirmed last week that he is to join Australian side Melbourne Rebels at the end of the season, but Edwards is adamant nothing will dent their bid to finish in the top four.

“No matter who is leaving or staying, they are all determined to make the play-offs and then try to make it to the final at Twickenham,” said Edwards. “I come from an era when players do move on, it’s a professional game, and I am more concerned that our recruitment is pro-active.”

Far from distracting him, Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks predicts Cipriani’s announcement could liberate him to produce his best form.

“Sometimes when a guy makes a decision like this, he settles down and gets on with his rugby,” said Hanks. “He did everything asked of him.”

Two missed long-range drop-goal attempts from Derrick Hougaard were the closest third-placed Saracens came to getting on the scoresheet as the visitors slipped to a third league defeat of the campaign.

Sarries boss Brendan Venter said: “We played much better in the second half, produced the better rugby but I find it astonishing that we did not receive one penalty.”