New-look Wasps kick off with four-try triumph

Nathan Hughes scored twice

Nathan Hughes scored twice

First published in Sport by

WASPS made a winning start to pre-season with a 38-24 victory over London Welsh at Adams Park today, but this was all about blowing away cobwebs and giving a new-look team some game time before the serious business starts in a few weeks.

Apart from the starting 15, which included eight debutants, Dai Young also named a 14-strong bench making it quicker to list the players who weren't included.

They included Christian Wade, Joe Launchbury, Andrea Masi, Brad Davies, James Haskell, Ashley Johnson, and last season's entire front row.

Despite the swathe of changes though, Wasps impressed early on with England Saxons teammates Elliot Daly and Rob Miller showing glimpses of a fine understanding developing.

Jonah Holmes also looked purposeful on the wing after returning from a year on loan at Leeds, and all three were involved in the attack which led to Charlie Davies sniping over after 12 minutes, which Miller converted for 7-0.

It was a fine score from the scrum half, who dummied and then darted from close range.

But the early continuity soon faded as the set piece of both teams creaked and the game soon settled into a rhythm of individual, one off attacks.

Welsh had hit back with a Nick Scott try and five points from the boot of Olly Barkley to lead 10-7, before Wasps ten Alex Lozowski knocked over a penalty five minutes from the interval.

A host of replacements started the second half with new addition Sailosi Tagicakibau drawing the loudest cheer, but it was superb breaks from deep from first Nathan Hughes and then Lozowski that really got the crowd excited early in the second period.

Neither led to tries, although with a few weeks more training and greater accuracy both could, and in fact it was Welsh who scored next with a penalty try.

Wasps responded by introducing a second wave of replacements, led by Scotland's Ruaridh Jackson, and one of those, Guy Thompson went over next to the upright within moments.

Jackson converted to level it up, before Hughes finished off concerted pressure to put his team back in front with their third try.

Again Jackson was on target, and Wasps spent the rest of the match oiling the machine back to life and getting better and better.

Hughes and Kearnan Myall both went over before the end, with a late Welsh consolation coming from Chris Elder, to wrap up the win and complete an afternoon that went pretty much according to plan for Wasps.

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