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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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Wasps have given reigning European champions Toulon a hammering

Dai Young’s men followed up their victory over Leinster with a bonus-point win in Coventry.

WASPS SECURED A bonus point with a sensational performance to beat reigning European champions Toulon 32-6 in their Pool 5 clash at the Ricoh Arena.

Dai Young’s side continued where they left off against Leinster at the RDS last weekend, making a blistering start with two tries in the opening 10 minutes and crossing the whitewash twice more in the second half.

Ruaridh Jackson runs in a try Wasps out-half Ruaridh Jackson strides clear for his side's second try. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The result leaves Wasps in control at the top of Pool 5 with nine match points from the opening two rounds, as men like Elliot Daly, Joe Simpson, Nathan Hughes, Charles Piutau, man of the match James Gaskell and Ashley Johnson starred. Veteran openside George Smith was sublime too.

Leinster will have watched Toulon’s disjointed and loose performance with some interest ahead of their December double header with the French giants. Of particular interest to Leo Cullen will have been the manner in which Wasps targeted Quade Cooper in defence.

Bernard Laporte’s men are likely to improve in the coming weeks, however, and look forward to welcoming Ma’a Nonu to the club ahead of the meetings with Leinster.

Barnstorming number eight Hughes finished strongly for Wasps’ first try in Coventry after on-form out-half Ruaridh Jackson found him with a wonderful floated pass in the eight minute.

Jackson converted that score and then provided a clever chip for Wasps’ second soon after, with scrum-half Simpson gathering the kick and showing quick hands to feed Gaskell on his inside shoulder.

Gaskell hit Jackson back on the outside for the Scotland international to finish and add another conversion. Two penalties – one from Jackson and a long-range Daly effort – completed their first-half scoring.

Scrum-half Jonathan Pélissié kicked two first-half penalties for the visitors.

Halai

Imposing All Blacks-capped wing Frank Halai finished Wasps’ third try, benefiting from the excellent work of Christian Wade and fullback Piutau to burst clear and finish despite Delon Armitage’s despairing tackle.

Hughes got his second try of a brilliant evening for Wasps in the 65th minute, when he was on the end of a powerful maul.

Maul

Young’s men were dominant overall as Toulon disappointed despite the presence of big names such as Steffon Armitage, Mathieu Bastareaud, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Cooper and Samu Manoa. Springbok Duane Vermeulen was used off the bench by Laporte.

Wasps, meanwhile, have quickly become the neutrals’ favourites with their ambitious, energetic and clinical attacking approach.

Matching their pace to some bruising ball carrying and dogged breakdown work has helped Young’s side mark themselves out as possible Champions Cup contenders.

Analysis: Ringrose, McGrath and van der Flier bursting for Leinster starting roles

Clermont and Ospreys bag try-scoring bonus points in thrilling clash

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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