Wasps 37 Dragons 10: Knockout stage beckons as fluent Flutey fires Wasps to victory

By David Kent for MailOnline

Wasps' determination to ensure this Heineken Cup showdown defied the Arctic weather was handsomely rewarded with a bonus-point victory that saw them overtake Toulouse at the top of Pool Six.

Only 1,236 supporters - among them a sizeable contingent of Dragons fans - braved the treacherous conditions after the match had been given the green light less than three hours before kick-off.

Making his Mark: Van Gisbergen dives over in the corner

Making his Mark: Van Gisbergen dives over in the corner

Crucially, the required medical support staff were found by 10.15am and those who turned up saw Wasps clinch a sixth successive victory.

On a weekend when Premier League football matches have tumbled like ninepins, the rugby has held up remarkably well.

Head coach Shaun Edwards said: 'Our owner Steve Hayes has invested a lot of money in the pitch and that gives you a chance to put games like this on. 'He's invested his money and got his reward with five points in a Heineken Cup game.'

Wry conditions: Mark Van Gisbergen of Wasps clears the ball

Wry conditions: Mark Van Gisbergen of Wasps clears the ball

The result, never mind the bonus point, hung in the balance when a dreadful first half finished 3-3 with Newport-Gwent failing to translate their superiority into points.

But a well worked 49th-minute try started by man-of-the-match Dave Walder and finished by hooker Joe Ward was the cue for the floodgates to open, with the pool's bottom place team crumbling.

Three more tries were waved through and it was no coincidence they arrived after England centre Riki Flutey had stepped off the bench for the final quarter following two months out with a calf injury.

Whitewash: Adams Park is surrounded by snow

Whitewash: Adams Park is surrounded by snow

Slick hands from the influential Flutey set up the second for Mark van Gisbergen and, scenting blood, Wasps ran in further tries through Tom Varndell and Nic Berry.

Toulouse are likely to return to the top of the pool when they host Glasgow tomorrow, but with two games remaining, Wasps have been offered a glimpse of the quarter-finals.

Director of rugby Tony Hanks said: 'We looked in good shape in the second half and that allowed us to play the rugby we wanted to right until the end. 'We had a lot of respect for the Dragons and to be fair to them, they really came at us. It sets the pool up well but we've got a pretty tough trip to Glasgow for the next game.'


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