Wasps 26 Gloucester 24: Daly delivery times it right

Teenage centre Elliot Daly delivered one of the most important kicks in Wasps' illustrious history on Sunday as his last-minute penalty from halfway snatched victory at Adams Park.

Wasps went into the game just four points ahead of bottom-placed Newcastle, who travel to Wycombe on May 5, the last day of the regular season.

Dai Young's depleted team desperately needed points ahead of away games against Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins and Bath, and they wound up with four of them in dramatic fashion.

Decisive moment: Daly slides over the penalty late in the game

Decisive moment: Daly slides over the penalty late in the game

Match facts

Wasps: Tries: Berry, Southwell. Cons: N. Robinson 2. Pens: N. Robinson 3, Daly.

Wasps: Southwell, Wallace, Daly, Davis, Haughton, N. Robinson, Berry, Payne, Lindsay, Broster, Cannon, Birkett, Launchbury, Jones, Vunipola.

Replacements: Davies for Berry (80), Taulafo for Payne (60), Korshunov for Lindsay (60), Filipo for Cannon (69).

Not used: McIntyre, Du Plessis, L. Robinson, Prydie.

Gloucester: Tries: S. Lawson, Sharples, A. Qera. Cons: F. Burns 3. Pens: F. Burns.

Gloucester: May, Sharples, Trinder, Molenaar, Simpson-Daniel, F. Burns, Runciman, Murphy, S. Lawson, Harden, Savage, Hamilton, Buxton, A. Qera, Narraway.

Replacements: Tindall for Trinder (67), Robson for Runciman (67), Thomas for Murphy (78), Knight for Harden (47), Brown for Hamilton (58), Strokosch for A. Qera (67).

Not used: D. Dawidiuk, Taylor.

Attendance: 6,849

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU).

Having led 23-10 in the second half, the home side trailed by two points when awarded a penalty 50 metres out. Leading kicker Nicky Robinson had already missed four shots at goal so, seemingly oblivious to the tension, 19-year-old Daly stepped forward.

He sent the ball high through the posts and, seconds later, the Wasps players celebrated with gusto.

Newcastle are eight points adrift before a trip to Gloucester and the visit of champions Saracens. Young, Wasps' director of rugby, said: 'It's not a killer blow to Newcastle but it puts us in a stronger position.

This win gives us a cushion again, though we're still not out of the woods yet.'

Young revealed that Daly's ambition to be the club's No 1 kicker was being undermined by a nagging knee problem, but added: 'He doesn't struggle with confidence and he didn't look like he was feeling the pressure everyone else in the stadium was feeling.

'He just had a little stretch, had a little drink, then slotted it over. That was a massive kick for us.'

Wasps were 10-0 up within five minutes, with a Robinson penalty swiftly followed by the opening try as Nic Berry picked up from an attacking ruck and darted through a cluster of defenders to the posts. Robinson converted, but Freddie Burns responded with a penalty.

Waspish retort: Nicky Robinson leads victory celebrations

Waspish retort: Nicky Robinson leads victory celebrations

Gradually, Gloucester began to impose themselves and Akapusi Qera sent Scott Lawson crashing over.

Burns converted but Robinson struck another penalty to give Wasps a half-time lead.

After the break, the hosts surged once more with a penalty and another fine try. Daly made a break and conjured a back-hand off-load to Hugo Southwell, who scored with a flourish.

Robinson's extras made it 23-10. But Gloucester rallied with two sensational tries.

Relegation hope: Wasps are battling to stave off threat of the drop

Relegation hope: Wasps are battling to stave off threat of the drop

First, Luke Narraway charged clear from halfway and passed to Nick Runciman, whose instant release to Sharples allowed the wing to scorch off to the posts.

Burns converted, as he did again 14 minutes from time. The outstanding Jonny May took a high kick and raced out of his 22, Henry Trinder ran on with purpose deep into the home half and Qera arrived in support to score.

With increasing desperation, Wasps strove to reverse the sudden deficit until Daly produced his decisive intervention.

Nervy: Daly was handed the task of taking the kick after Robinson missed four attempts

Nervy: Daly was handed the task of taking the kick after Robinson missed four attempts


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