Le Roux leads Wasps fightback to keep play-off hopes alive
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: South African star Willie Le Roux was among the try-scorers as Wasps secured an impressive bonus-point 26-19 win over Premiership leaders Exeter on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a play-off spot.
Jack Nowell and Nic White went over early on for the runaway league leaders who have already locked up a home semifinal.
But in the final ten minutes of the first half Wasps turned the tide.
Marcus Watson had already been denied once in the corner by a fine covering tackle from Olly Woodburn before he put Le Roux in the clear for their first.
Soon after Nathan Hughes picked and went through the middle of the ruck and offloaded to replacement Juan de Jongh to go over.
And Wasps were not done there in the first half, Hughes this time putting in a clever kick that sat up and caused chaos in the Chiefs backfield, Watson profiting to run clear.
From a 0-12 hole, Wasps were 21-12 to the good at the interval and they fronted up superbly in the second half as well.
Zurabi Zhvania went over after fine interplay with Hughes and Gaby Lovobalavu for their bonus point score.
And while Jack Yeandle claimed Chiefs’ third, Wasps’ defence was decisive in the final ten minutes and they completed an amazing victory, the Chiefs first home loss in the league since February 2018 and Wasps’ first on this ground in the league.
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Nowell, White, Yeandle
Cons: Simmonds 2
Tries: Le Roux, De Jongh, Watson, Zhvania
Cons: Daly, Sipoaga 2
Exeter: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Don Armand (captain), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Ian Whitten.
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 (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Zurabi Zhvania.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Juan de Jongh.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Greg Macdonald.
TMO: David Rose.