Two tries from England scrum half Matt Dawson helped London Wasps to record a 27-15 victory over NEC Harlequins in the Zurich Premiership at the Stoop. Further scores from Josh Lewsey and Mark Van Gisbergen either side of half-time ensured last seasons Premiership Champions left with the maximum five points. Simon Keogh and George Harder scored second half tries for Quins, but they were not enough to stop the clubs four match unbeaten run in the Premiership coming to an end.
Dawson opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock. Flanker Joe Worsley made the telling break deep into Quins territory and after play was recycled through a number of phases, the Wasps number nine burrowed his way over from close range to touchdown under the posts. Van Gisbergen added the conversion to put the visitors seven points in front.
Wasps had their chances to extend their lead, but fly half Alex King pushed a drop goal attempt well wide of the target before Van Gisbergen saw a penalty attempt from 45 metres fall short of the posts. Quins won plenty of possession in the first half and attacked from all areas of the field, but constantly failed to breakthrough a solid Wasps defence.
Van Gisbergen converted a penalty with 30 minutes on the clock to put Wasps ten points ahead, before Lewsey gave the traveling supporters a second try to celebrate four minutes from the break. Despite appearing to be well covered on the right flank, the winger managed to power his way through a number of defenders before sprinting over for the five points.
Van Gisbergen missed the conversion and on the stroke of half-time Jeremy Staunton put Quins first points on the board from a penalty to make the score 15-3 to Wasps at the interval.
No sooner had the second half started then Wasps extended their advantage. Worsley again took play deep into Quins twenty-two and despite being tackled short of the line, Van Gisbergen was in close support to gratefully accept the scoring pass. The full back added the two extra points from the conversion, which put the visitors 19 points in front (22-3).
Quins continued to ask questions of the Wasps defence but the visitors always had an answer to what was being thrown at them, until six minutes from the end. Roy Winters gathered a loose clearance kick and made good ground before offloading to replacement Andy Dunne. The fly half made an excellent break up to the Wasps twenty-two before releasing Keogh, who had the pace to beat Lewsey in the race to the line, though Dunne missed the conversion.
Back came Wasps and their bonus point was secured with 80 minutes showing on the clock. A sustained period of pressure led to Dawson again burrowing his way over from close to the line, though Van Gisbergen failed to add the two extra points. Time remained for Harder to score Quins second try, which Dunne converted from in front of the posts, but it was no more than a consolation.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.