Gloucester defence coach Jonny Bell described Joe Simpson as a “model pro” after the scrum-half scored two tries against his former club to earn the hosts a 25-9 victory over Wasps at a rain-sodden Kingsholm. Wing Tom Marshall also crossed twice for Gloucester, with Billy Twelvetrees adding a penalty and a conversion.
Lima Sopoaga kicked three penalties to account for all of Wasps’ points, with the visitors also having had to play 10 minutes without the sin-binned Malakai Fekitoa early in the second half. “We knew how good a player Joe is from having to coach against him for a number of years,” said Bell of Simpson, who arrived ahead of the new season.
“He has fitted in seamlessly and he was really up for it today as he wanted to be on the right side of the scoreline. Their yellow card released the pressure on us, but in these conditions we would have been happy if we’d won 6-0, so to get a bonus point was a real credit to the boys as they were clinical in taking their opportunities.”
Gloucester flanker Lewis Ludlow celebrated his 100th appearance for the club with a win. “Despite the conditions, it was fun, as I like a battle on the floor when the game is scrappy,” said the 25-year-old. “This is a World Cup year, so the season is a funny one. There are therefore large blocks of matches and I believe the league may well be won with a squad with considerable depth in it and we could be a cut above the rest.”
Despite his side’s second defeat in as many matches, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was not too downbeat. “I thought we more than matched them in every area, but two crucial moments went their way,” he said. “We gave away seven points just before half-time and then we picked up a yellow card when we were getting a bit of ascendancy by battering away at their line.
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“I’ve no complaints about the yellow card, but it stopped our momentum and another poor kick gave them another opportunity to score. The scoreboard was a little bit unkind to us and we are not too far away.”
Last week, Wasps lost at home to newly-promoted London Irish, so next Saturday’s clash at the Ricoh Arena against Bath will prove crucial in attempting to kick-start their season. “Great numbers are turning up to watch us and they deserve performances and victories, so next week would be a good place to start,” added Young.
– Press Association
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