Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

BRYCE Heem was red-carded early in the second half as a spirited Worcester Warriors side picked up two precious points from a thrilling 40-33 defeat at Aviva Premiership leaders Wasps.

The wing was dismissed by referee Luke Pearce six minutes into the second period for a clumsy challenge in the air on Willie Le Roux.

But Warriors showed tremendous heart with late tries from Biyi Alo and Jackson Willison to salvage try-scoring and losing bonus points at the Ricoh Arena.

Second-from-bottom Warriors also had a try ruled out in the first period as they stretched their lead in the table to nine points over basement boys Bristol.

Lock Will Spencer and back row Chris Vui were outstanding as Warriors bossed the scrum and the breakdown for most of the derby.

Warriors suffered a setback in the warm-up when Ryan Lamb picked up an injury and Perry Humphreys took his place on the bench.

Worcester enjoyed the early pressure and struck the first blow from a five-metre scrum.

Francois Hougaard gave quick ball to Heem who powered through Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson to touch down. Ryan Mills couldn’t convert.

High-flying Wasps hit back and got their reward in the 11th minute.

Chris Pennell cut his head with a try-saving tackle on Kurtley Beale but Wasps recycled the ball and lock Will Rowlands dived over.

Jimmy Gopperth missed the conversion before Wasps broke through for a second try.

Awful tackling from Warriors allowed Christian Wade to run through the heart of the visiting midfield from 50 metres and Gopperth’s conversion put Wasps 12-5 ahead.

But Warriors should have grabbed a second try in the 15th minute.

Dean Hammond’s burst down the left cut open Wasps’ defence. With an overlap on the right Josh Adams spilled Mills’ long pass which was intended for Heem and Ashley Johnson cleared.

Warriors won two quick-fire penalties as they dominated the set-piece and were rewarded for kicking to the corner.

After Vui secured the line-out Hougaard threw a pass to Adams who dived full-length to touch down.

Warriors’ supporters were on their feet again in the 25th minute.

Heem collected a short pass from Mills to burst over the whitewash.

However, perhaps harshly, the try was ruled out as Willison was penalised for crossing.

Warriors continued to look composed and grabbed their third try in the 38th minute after a marauding raid from the impressive Vui.

Worcester’s forwards kept their patience after the lock was hauled down and worked an overlap for Adams in the corner.

Mills’ conversion put Warriors 19-12 ahead but Wasps replied with a try in first-half stoppage from Wade.

The wing brushed off Pennell’s tackle to squeeze over in the corner and Gopperth’s conversion levelled at 19-19.

The injured Val Rapava Ruskin was replaced by Ryan Bower just after the restart.

Warriors then suffered a crushing blow when Heem was dismissed in the 46th minute.

He chased a high kick downfield from Mills but caught Le Roux with a challenge and was sent off by referee Pearce.

Wasps grabbed their fourth try in the 54th minute after Wynand Olivier failed to hold a flat pass deep inside the home 22.

The hosts picked up the loose ball and Alapati Leiua finished off the length-of-the-field move with Gopperth converting to give the hosts a 26-19 advantage.

A slick handling move was finished off under the posts by Wasps replacement Josh Bassett in the 56th minute which was converted by Gopperth.

Wasps stretched their lead with a sixth try from Brendan Macken in the 73rd minute and Danny Cipriani’s conversion made it 40-19.

Former Warrior Matt Mullan was yellow-carded for killing the ball as Hammond was hauled down just short of the line.

From the resulting penalty replacement Alo burrowed over for his maiden Premiership try with four minutes remaining and Mills added the extras.

In the final play of the match Warriors salvaged a losing bonus point when Willison slid over the whitewash and Mills converted to round off a thrilling contest.