Young Alfie Barbeary to the fore as Wasps see off 14-man Montpellier
Wasps took advantage of a seventh-minute red card for Henry Immelman of Montpellier to record the second bonus-point win of their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a 33-14 victory. Alfie Barbeary scored two of Wasps’ five tries, with James Gaskell, Paolo Odogwu and Charlie Atkinson also touching down, while Jimmy Gopperth added three conversions and Atkinson one.
Wasps had rested internationals Dan Robson, Joe Launchbury, Jack Willis and Will Rowlands in the wake of last week’s comfortable victory over Dragons. However, helped by Immelman’s dismissal, they still had enough strength to secure another five points.
Alex Lozowski and Yvan Reilhac scored Montpellier’s tries, with Benoit Paillaugue converting both after they suffered an early setback when full-back Immelman was sent off for a high challenge on Will Porter. They should have still taken an early lead only for Paillaugue to miss the target with a straightforward penalty.
Two minutes later, Paillaugue had another simple opportunity but again fired wide before Gopperth had his chance only to also miss with an attempt from 35 metres.
A @WaspsRugby try which started with a kick pass from Alfie Barbeary! ?????
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Neither side threatened the try line in a disjointed first quarter which finished scoreless before the French side received another blow when fly-half Louis Foursans was helped off with a leg injury. Wasps were slow in getting their game together, but it seemed only a matter of time before their numerical advantage would tell and they took the lead in the 23rd minute when Barbeary finished off a succession of forward drives to crash over.
Playing with the wind, the visitors had the better of the first half-hour in terms of possession and territory but against the run of play Wasps scored their second try. Inside the hosts’ 22, Montpellier lost possession, allowing the home side to break away, with Gaskell running in from 25 metres after a well-timed pass from Tom Cruse.
The visitors deserved something for their spirited efforts and were rewarded when Lozowski seized a loose ball to outpace the cover defence, with Paillaugue’s conversion leaving his side trailing 12-7 at the interval. Six minutes after the restart, Montpellier took the lead when replacement Reilhac raced over after a number of forward drives had sucked in the Wasps’ defence.
However, the lead only lasted two minutes as Odogwu darted in under the posts after a ?neat off-load from Barbeary had put the centre in the clear. The outstanding Barbeary scored his second as Montpellier could not stop the powerhouse from close range, but the number eight then blotted his copybook by being yellow carded for a deliberate off-side.
The visitors could not capitalise on Barbeary’s absence, so Wasps had the final stay when Atkinson dummied his way over in the final minute.
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— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 18, 2020
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