Hughes powers Wasps to win
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Nathan Hughes scored a double as Wasps powered to a 28-16 bonus-point win over Worcester Warriors at Ricoh Arena.
The England No.8 went over once in each half as Dai Youngs’ side ended a run of four straight defeats, with Marcus Watson and Zurabi Zhvania also getting over.
Worcester had got back into touch early in the second half, but Hughes’ second finally killed off their hopes.
Duncan Weir had put Worcester in front with an early penalty but Wasps responded with the first try of the game from the restart, Hughes the beneficiary after Brad Shields had claimed the bobbling ball.
They got a second try on 11 minutes when Willie le Roux’s wide pass put Watson over, Lima Sopoaga converting from the touchline to make it 14-3.
The third Wasps try almost followed immediately but Shields was tackled five metres from the line by a sensational Francois Hougaard tackle.
It was only temporary respite, Zhvania the next to cross from close range after more Wasps pressure.
Worcester were in danger of being overrun, but responded through Sam Lewis from a rolling maul, and Wasps lost Gaby Lovobalavu to a yellow card for tackling Josh Adams without the ball shortly after.
A second Weir penalty cut the deficit to eight points, Wasps lead 21-13 at the break, but still a man down.
Wasps should have extended their lead early in the second half, but Sopoaga uncharacteristically missed from in front.
Instead it was Chris Pennell who cut the lead further, a long-range penalty making it a one-score game.
Wasps had conceded 13 points without reply, but finally stemmed the tide with Hughes’ second of the afternoon, put in by Sopoaga’s clever delayed pass. The conversion made it 28-16.
That was enough to see out the win and push Wasps back into the top half of the table.
Tries: Hughes 2, Watson, Zhvania
Cons: Sopoaga 4
For Worcester Warriors
Pens: Weir 2, Pennell
Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes,: 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Zurabi Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Juan de Jongh
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Ben Te’o, 12 Ryan Mills (captain), 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Francois Venter, 23 Scott van Breda
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson & Philip Watters.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.