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'Joe Launchbury has just spoken about how that was one of the best wins of his Wasps career'

Joe Launchbury of Wasps is tackled by Sam Underhill (left) and Charlie Ewels. (Getty)

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Wasps head coach Lee Blackett reflected on one of the club’s finest wins after they overcame huge odds to beat Gallagher Premiership play-off rivals Bath 27-23. Wasps flanker Thomas Young, full-back Lima Sopoaga, hooker Tommy Taylor and Taylor’s replacement Gabriel Oghre all departed injured during the first 34 minutes.


It meant the Recreation Ground clash going to uncontested scrums, so stretched were Wasps’ front-row resources.

Bath, though, were found wanting as a 75th-minute penalty try saw Wasps home and lifted them back into the play-off zone.

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“Joe Launchbury (Wasps captain) has just spoken in the sheds about how that was one of the best wins of his Wasps career, and he has been here a lot longer than I have,” Blackett said.

“It’s the character, the leadership, the adversity we had to go through.

“We spoke in the lockdown break about being adaptable, and that was the most pleasing thing today, because everything possible was thrown at us.

“The way we fought back into it was outstanding. It was pure fight. It takes a lot of hard work.”


Blackett confirmed concussions for Young and Oghre, while Taylor suffered a serious-looking ankle injury and Sopoaga had hamstring issues.

Wasps’ victory ended Bath’s unbeaten run since the Premiership restarted after lockdown.

Wasps are now one point behind third-placed Bristol with five games left, but Bath have dropped to fifth.

Fly-half Jacob Umaga and prop Tom West scored tries for Wasps, while Umaga kicked two conversions and a penalty and Sopoaga slotted a penalty.


Wing Ruaridh McConnochie and substitute hooker Jack Walker claimed Bath’s touchdowns, and fly-half Rhys Priestland kicked 13 points.

Reflecting on the loss, Bath’s England international flanker Sam Underhill said: “It’s a disappointing result and performance.

“We just weren’t up to scratch, and against a side of that quality you can’t slip up, as they will punish you.”

Bath had scored 13 tries and claimed 14 points from a possible 15 in beating London Irish, Leicester and Northampton, but Wasps proved an insurmountable hurdle.

Bath rugby director Stuart Hooper added: “The big learning to take out of it is that you have got to be able to adapt. Credit to Wasps, they adapted better than we did.

“We didn’t react quickly enough and we didn’t adjust, and they got the win.

“I thought we had moments where we showed some of the things we had done in the previous three games, but we didn’t consistently knit that together. We coughed up a few opportunities.

“Today was an opportunity for us, but it is not terminal.

“Rugby is a game of energy, and you have got to make sure you manage that energy as well as you manage field-position.”


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