S (37) vs N’PORT-G DRAGONS (10)
WASPS were handsomely rewarded for their efforts in ensuring their Heineken Cup match with Newport Gwent Dragons didn’t succumb to the elements, much to the delight of their director of rugby Tony Hanks.
The Wycombe-based club claimed a bonus point win with a healthy win which lifted them to the top of Pool Six, three points clear of Toulouse.
But the match was only given the go-ahead less than three hours before kick-off with a lack of medical support staff threatening to force an abandonment.
Happily for Wasps, and the 1,236 hardy souls who turned up in support, they were repaid with a splendid performance which included a 17-point haul from Dave Walder.
“We were rapt that the game was played. It’s credit to everyone involved getting the game on by getting the right areas clear,” said Hanks.
“It shows what you can do if you invest in your pitch. The pitch was great and the under-soil heating worked.
“We were also pleased at the number who braved the elements because they had to walk to the game if they wanted to come.
“The team got a call last night and were told to get here early. They were here for breakfast. To finish the way they did was great.”
With conditions tough, the first-half was unsurprisingly dominated by the boots of Walder and Matthew Jones, but the two-time champions opened up in the second period.
Hooker Joe Ward touched down in the 49th minute before the returning Riki Flutey set-up Mark van Gisbergen 15 minutes from the end. Tom Varndell stretched the lead further, before Nic Berry’s effort from close range sewed up the bonus point.