Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons was not disheartened to see his young side slump to an eighth consecutive defeat on Friday. Wasps recovered from a 14-3 deficit to triumph 32-17 in the Gallagher Premiership match at the Ricoh Arena.
The Warriors, who have not won a Premiership game since defeating London Irish in late December, looked set for victory until a strong second-half performance from the hosts turned the game their way.
Wasps’ tries came from Tom Willis, Gabriel Oghre, Tom Cruse and Alfie Barbeary with Rob Miller kicking two penalties and three conversions to secure their fifth consecutive bonus-point win. Worcester responded with tries from Nick David and Beck Cutting. Duncan Weir converted both and added a penalty.
Solomons said: “We had to rotate the squad as we only had a six-day turnaround and then will have a five-day turnaround ahead of next Wednesday’s game against Harlequins.
“It was an ideal opportunity to give our youngsters a game as we have to make use of the whole squad. We were impressive in the first half but they got on top of us in the scrum and in the maul and it was impossible to get any field position after half-time.
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“We gave away too many penalties and the youngsters we brought on had difficulty in coping with the power of their replacements, who had a big impact on the game. We are treating the remainder of this season as our pre-season in readiness for the 2020/21 competition as we have a new group of coaches.
“However we still want to do as well as we can and we’ve got to ensure that we continue on an upward curve, which I believe we did tonight.”
Wasps head coach Lee Blackett was delighted with the bonus point which saw his side move up to third in the Premiership table. He said: “I’m very relieved that we found a way to win as six months ago we would have lost in similar circumstances.
“Worcester were pretty impressive in the first 20 minutes and the crucial point came when we turned over their lineout close to our line when they were four points up. In addition, Jacob Umaga and Sione Vailanu and the other replacements made a huge impact when they came off the bench.
“We made a scrappy start but a number of our players haven’t appeared for five or six months and they looked nervous and rusty. Had our disallowed early try from Ben Vellacott been given then this would have given us confidence but we struggled for a time as they quickly scored two tries.
“I’m not looking too far ahead, we have to stay focused on the next game and Tuesday’s match against Sale will be tough.”
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