Wasps break Worcester hearts in dying moments

Bucks Free Press: Andy Goode won it for Wasps with the last kick Andy Goode won it for Wasps with the last kick

MOMENTOUS careers have momentous moments and Andy Goode created another one at Sixfields this evening as he condemned his former club Worcester Warriors to almost certain relegation with the last act of the match.

With an almost apologetic air, the Wasps fly half knocked over a conversion to complete a dramatic 13-11 rescue act for Wasps, who were on the brink of becoming the first team to lose to Worcester this season until Jake Cooper-Wooley forced his way over in the final play of the game.

Wasps were trailing 11-6 at that point after their former winger David Lemi had created what looked certain to be the match-winning try in the second period.

But, with just minutes to go, Wasps finally roused themselves after 76 minutes of stupor to exert intense and continuous pressure on the Warriors line.

Worcester's season depended on keeping them out and the home defence resisted for all their worth for as long as they could.

But the black and golds kept coming with almost every player in a yellow shirt having a dash for the line until, at the death, Cooper-Woolley found a way over to avoid humiliation for Wasps and keep their hopes of finishing inside the top six alive.

With proposals for a new European tournament next season now on the table, this defining victory may yet have long-reaching consequences for Dai Young's men.

As for Worcester, it appears to be the end of the road for them this season. They needed a victory to carry the fight on another week and for all the world it looked like they get it against a Wasps team that was as bad as they've been all season.

They had two weeks to prepare for this match but still began it at yawning pace. Worcester, playing for their lives, threw everything at them from the kick off and in an unbroken passage of play lasting four minutes created one huge overlap that should have led to a try and twice pushed the visitors back to their own line.

Wasps survived to clear to the half way line, but promptly conceded a penalty from the game's first scrum and Worcester full back kicked his side into a 3-0 lead from nearly 50m.

Wasps weren't warned though.

They were pushed off their own scrum after 13 minutes and after 19 minutes were penalised again when the teams packed down.

Pennell pulled it this time, but with a quarter gone Wasps still hadn't got any facet of their game going.

With Ryan Lamb pulling the strings, it was the home side playing all the rugby and they came within an ace of the first try when Elliot Daly's kick was charged down.

He, Joe Simpson and the corner flag combined to avert disaster, but once again it put Wasps on the defensive and in damage limitation mode.

A Lamb drop kick pulled wide was their escape route this time, and somehow they drew level with an Goode penalty after 29 minutes.

They still hadn't crossed the Worcester 22 though, and frustrated fans of both teams were still waiting for a game that promised fireworks to spark into life.

Stoppages every few minutes didn't help, but Worcester were at least trying while Wasps were pedestrian at best - their one highlight after 30 minutes of rugby was a spirited, 30m charge from prop Matt Mullan.

Nothing came of it though, and the final act of a utterly dismal half was another Pennell penalty pulled wide.

Wasps finally showed faint signs of life at the start of the second period with another Goode penalty to go 6-3 ahead, but it was still tepid stuff until the phony war finally ended in the 55th minute with the game's first try.

Former Wasp Lemi made it for the home team when he skidded past Goode and Simpson on the touchline.

Daly half-stopped him a few yards short, but the ball popped loose and Sam Betty swooped to go over.

The conversion was missed but a Lamb penalty made it 11-6, and that looked like being the final score until Wasps – and Goode in particular – stuck a dagger through Worcester hearts.

Perhaps it had always been written.

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