Lightning take a sting in Round 15, falling short to Wasps at home

Lightning hit a bump in the road this weekend, as their hunt for a home semi-final took a backwards step against Wasps who now inch closer to Lightning and strengthen their hold of a top 4 place.

Wasps started by asserting their authority early through patient and well-structured phase play. Just 5 minutes in, Lightning succumbed to the pressure with Wasps securing an early 7-point score.

Both teams displayed their willingness to engage in fast attacking rugby for the best part of the first quarter, however somewhat simultaneous errors and penalties denied each team the opportunity to capitalise on pressure they had built.

The next score came resulting in Wasps extending their lead to 14 with a converted driving maul try from 25 metres out, Lightning responded quickly by capitalising on their first visit to the 22. Lark Davies landed the crushing blow with a penetrating line from metres out, converted by Scarratt to reduce Wasps lead to within a converted try.

Lightnings’ comeback was dampened 6 minutes before the half ended. Meg Jones took a quick tap and go penalty, catching Loughborough napping before providing speedster Abby Dow with a clear run to the line to make the score 19-7. It was nearly Déjà vu for Lightning just moment after, yet a last-ditch Helena Rowland tackle prevented the visitors scoring a bonus point try before half time.

Former Lightning winger Celia Quansah secured the visitors bonus points in familiar fashion 7 minutes into the second period, dancing her way down the left-hand side to sail in for the score, converted this time. Almost identical to her first score, Lark Davies responded for Lightning taking her tally for the season to 18 tries - rather unheard yet extraordinarily impressive for a front row forward.

Lightning showed tenacity and great innovation in their response to the brilliance of the visitors, but unfortunately were unable to capitalise on opportunities and Wasps ran away with it towards the end, grasping two more scores before the close of play. The first of those was a try for the forwards, a fatigued Lighting defence was unable to stop the Wasps power play from metres out.  Their last score came as the clock was in the red, great identification of the overlap and an injection of pace saw the visitors get their final points in the far-left corner with a try.

Final score 14-36 to Wasps.

By Cameron Seaton

Photo Credit: Ben Lumley