Premiership: Bath 3-24 Wasps
|Bath (3) 3|
|Wasps (14) 24|
|Tries: Wade, Beale 2 Pens: Gopperth Cons: Gopperth 3|
Wasps extended their lead at the top of the Premiership with a Kurtley Beale-inspired victory against fellow play-off hopefuls Bath.
The platform was set in the first half as Wasps dominated field position and they went in 14-3 up thanks to tries from Christian Wade and Beale.
Tom Homer's penalty was the only reply from Bath, who conceded a third try when slick hands worked Beale in.
Bath fought hard after the break, but Wasps' 13th win was never in doubt.
Both sides occupy places in the top four, but even with internationals Taulupe Faletau, Luke Charteris and Anthony Watson back in the side, Bath looked well short of competing with the expensively-recruited visitors.
England star Elliot Daly was absent for Wasps, but Dai Young was still able to field a back three of Beale, Christian Wade and Willie Le Roux and most importantly, they won the front-foot ball needed to get them in the game.
The forwards laid the platform for both first-half tries, Alex Rieder stepping through to give Wade a chance on the right and Thomas Young ripping a hole for Beale's first.
His second was again built on softening up by the Wasps forwards, followed by a sliding move to the left that well and truly put the game beyond doubt.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
"Today we took a big stride in cementing our place in the top four. That's the important thing. Then you've got four games to cement ourselves in the top two.
"It's not a foregone conclusion by any means.
"This is the best we have played in the block of four games (during the Six Nations). Now we are in the business end. We've got Worcester and Bristol, two teams who will be scrapping for their lives. There's no easy games for us but we are in a very strong position, one I am very pleased with."
Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder:
"We looked tired out there, just hanging on. We're a far better team than we showed out there.
"We were far too passive and waited for Wasps to attack us. They just showed what a good side they are when they get a roll on and get momentum. We were on the back foot the whole game.
"Then we probably tried too hard. We kicked the ball back to them - and they kept attacking us.
"We'll get our internationals back and attack the last quarter of this competition."
Bath: T Homer; Rokoduguni, Clark, Tapuai, Watson; Hastings, Cook; Catt, Batty, Lahiff, Charteris, Ewels (capt), Ellis, Denton, Faletau.
Replacements: Van Vuuren, Obano, Palma-Newport, Stooke, Mercer, W Homer, Jennings, Phillips.
Wasps: Beale; Wade, Leiua, Gopperth, Le Roux; Cipriani, Simpson; Mullan (capt), Taylor, Cooper-Woolley, Symons, Gaskell, Johnson, Young, Rieder.
Replacements: Festuccia, McIntyre, Moore, Rowlands, Willis, Robson, Armitage, Bassett.
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