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Dragons and Wasps meet for the third time in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday, with the latter aiming to maintain their unbeaten record against the Welsh region.
The Heineken Champions Cup clash will be live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 17:30 (UK and Irish time).
- This will be the third time the Dragons and Wasps have faced each other in the Heineken Champions Cup, with the English side winning both those games, during the pool stage in 2010/11.
- The Dragons have lost their last 10 games in the Heineken Champions Cup, currently the longest losing streak among the teams that are taking part in this edition; however they played their last game in the competition in January 2011, at home against the Glasgow Warriors (16-23).
- Wasps have lost their last seven away games in the Heineken Champions Cup, their longest such losing streak in the competition, but have won on three of their last four visits to Welsh opposition (L1).
- Wasps’ Jack Willis won 10 turnovers in the Challenge Cup last season, the joint most of any player (also Gabin Villiere), including a competition-high eight jackal turnovers.
- Sam Davies (Dragons) scored 67 points in the Challenge Cup last season, the joint third most of any player; all his points came from kicks at goal, successfully landing 28 of 32 attempts.
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Late tries from forwards Jack Willis and Thomas Young punctuated a 24-8 Heineken Champions Cup victory for Wasps against Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Tom Cruse and Dan Robson put the visitors in charge at the break before Jonah Holmes touched down for arguably the try of the game, but the two late scores earned Wasps the bonus point victory.
FT 🐉 8 – 24 🐝
Wasps secure a fantastic bonus-point win! pic.twitter.com/4HpFiXEGVG
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) December 12, 2020
After a cagey opening 15 minutes, a Wasps attack down the right-hand side brought reward. Jarred Rosser was sent to the sin bin for the hosts for a no-arms tackle before the visitors capitalised on the penalty – and the man advantage.
Cruse was the beneficiary of quick passing to scamper to the corner for the opening try of the afternoon, with Jimmy Gopperth unable to add the extra two points.
Despite being a man light, the Welsh side maintained possession and earned a pair of penalties. Sam Davies kicked the first through the posts, but missed the second as the host attempted to play out the 10 minutes down to 14.
However, as the sin bin timer hit zero, Wasps scored their second try of the evening. A long kick from Dragons was collected by Liam Sopoaga who contemplated returning a kick before breaking through the Dragons defence.
He offloaded to winger Josh Bassett who initially dummied inside before hitting the free-running Robson who strolled home, with Gopperth this time successful with the conversion.
What was that celebration, Tom Cruse? 🐶
The @WaspsRugby hooker with a brilliant finish, then… Eh… Marks his territory near the corner flag 😂#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/lrs9VeY3Fw
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 12, 2020
Early in the second half, Soapaga was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Josh Lewis and Dragons took full advantage.
Slick passing moved the ball quickly from the Welsh sides left to the right flank where Jamie Roberts offloaded – taking out three defenders – into the hands of Holmes who walked in for the score, Davies unable to complete the conversion.
Another sin bin, this time for Dragons’ front row Aaron Jarvis, gave Wasps fresh impetus heading into the final 20 minutes of the contest, however this time the visiting English side were unable to take advantage of the extra man.
With ten minutes remaining, Wasps put the game to bed with ferocious driving maul from a lineout, with Willis punishing the Dragons defence to score. Moments later, Young added the bonus point try from the resulting phases of another lineout.
Wasps now await the challenge of Montpellier next weekend in Round 2, Dragons have a daunting trip to France to take on Bordeaux Bégles.
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