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Wasps sting Falcons, Warriors off the mark

By Iain Strachan
Wasps celebrate a try against Falcons in the Premiership

Wasps dispatched Newcastle Falcons 40-10 in the Premiership on Saturday thanks to a brace of first-half tries from Christian Wade, as Worcester Warriors recorded their first win of the season.


Wade touched down out wide twice in the first 10 minutes of the match at Ricoh Arena, Jimmy Gopperth converting the wing’s second score.

Kyle Eastmond added a third just three minutes later in what was his first appearance since rupturing his Achilles in February.

Newcastle’s Toby Flood sent over a penalty and added the extras to Sean Robinson’s try to make it 19-10 going into the break.

But the hosts then pulled clear in a second half that saw the Falcons held scoreless.

James Haskell, Gabiriele Lovobalavu and Joshua Bassett each went over and Gopperth converted all three tries as Wasps recorded their fourth victory from eight attempts this season.

Earlier, a Bryce Heem hat-trick powered Worcester to a drought-breaking 30-15 victory at home to Northampton Saints.

Wing Heem touched down twice in the space of 11 minutes in the first half, Jono Lance converting the second to go with an earlier penalty that had cancelled out Stephen Myler’s opening score.


Lance sent over another three-pointer four minutes into the second half and Warriors took firm control of the contest with the pick of the tries in the 48th minute.

Josh Adams started and finished a move that began inside his own half and finished following a sharp exchange of passes with Chris Pennell.

Saints responded with tries from Ben Foden and Jamie Gibson, threatening to make it a nervy finish for the hosts.

But Heem capped off the victory by completing his hat-trick in the 80th minute, Pennell converting as Rob Horne was dismissed for a tip tackle in the build-up to the try.



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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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