Bath cruise past disappointing Wasps
August 27, 2000

Woeful Wasps crashed to their second successive Premiership home defeat as four-try Bath cut loose in the Loftus Road sunshine.

After coming unstuck during injury time against league champions Leicester last weekend, Wasps suffered a comprehensive beating this time at the hands of a side quicker in thought and deed.

Bath bounced back from a one-point loss at Sale to tear Wasps rudderless without injured captain Lawrence Dallaglio and fly-half Alex King apart.

A maximum five-point haul bonus points included underlined the gulf in class as Ben Clarke, Nathan Thomas, Kevin Maggs, and Mike Tindall all claimed touchdowns.

Scrum-half Jon Preston kicked 16 points landing six from eight shots at goal, leaving Wasps a desolate, dispirited outfit.

A Kenny Logan penalty hat-trick only briefly threatened Bath, who showed greater pace and creativity.

Once again, the Wasps line-out failed to function England hooker Phil Greening often missing his target jumper and Bath gratefully accepted the gifts that came their way.

Greening is an outstanding all-round footballer, but on this occasion his impressions at various times of a fly-half, centre and wing, hardly helped Wasps' cause when some of his technical forward play was well below standard.

Greening's England colleague Simon Shaw summed up Wasps' afternoon when he kicked a last-minute drop goal, blissfully ignoring three players outside him as a try looked on the cards.

Logan kicked Wasps into an early 6-0 lead referee Steve Lander stamping his mark on proceedings by awarding nine penalties in as many minutes but once Bath captain Clarke muscled his way over from close range, the visitors never looked back.

Bath always threatened through their back division, with Maggs and wing Adedayo Adebayo making outstanding contributions, but Wasps were still in contention at half-time, trailing just 10-6.

Bath though, needed just 30 seconds of the second period to extend that advantage, full-back Matt Perry and wing Rob Philby combining to send Welsh international forward Thomas galloping clear.

The writing was on the wall for Wasps at this stage, and although Logan reduced the arrears to 15-9, two more Preston penalties reaffirmed Bath's dominance.

The final quarter proved one-way traffic, Wasps falling behind the pace and leaving increasingly large gaps for Bath's dangerous attackers to exploit.

Maggs and his fellow centre Tindall rounded off some slick handling work before Preston's fourth penalty completed a thoroughly satisfying afternoon's work for the west country club.

The likes of Dallaglio and King cannot return soon enough, but Bath, in contrast, are up and running and clearly a threat to any of their Premiership rivals.

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