Saracens travel to High Wycombe on Saturday to face London Wasps in round 18 of the Aviva Premiership, here Henry Fraser previews the game.
Wasps – Form guide, won 7, lost 10.
It has been a tough season for Wasps so far. A three loss start to the season and a recent run of losses in the league has been the story of their season. A win away against Worcester has put Wasps back on track and will give them confidence going into this weekends match.
Thirteen of their matches have been decided by seven points or less.
When they are winning they have struggled to finish of sides and close out games. They have come very close to winning in many games this season. Of the thirteen gems nine have been loses, sometimes a dingle missed kick being the difference.
However the close losses has meant they have remained within touching distance of a European qualifying spot. They are only six points behind sixth place Quins despite losing three more games.
The big difference this year has been injuries in key areas most noticeably on the wings. Tom Varndell and Christian Wade were the joint top try scorers in the league last year, with thirteen each, and both have suffered long term injuries. At times they have lacked the deadly attack they both provide and having them out at the exact same time is very unfortunate.
Further injuries to Andy Goode and Andrea Masi left the Wasps back line without vital experience. With both of them returning for the business end of the season, it could be key for an end of season push.
The forwards for Wasps this season have been a very good constant in an inconsistent season. Most noticeably the second row combination of Myall and Launchbury are vital to this team. Myall is hugely dominant at the lineout and loves to get his hands on the ball in open play. Launchbury is the ultimate workhorse and is returning home after some strong England performances. He can easily inspire his team mates through his own performance.
Wasps are normally a very tough team to beat at Adams Park, but this season have not been able to assert their home dominance. However the home crowd could play a big role in pushing Wasps forward to a big end to the season which could start this Saturday.
This game is big for both teams as Sarries are now the ones to catch in the league and Wasps want a big finish to their season. It should be a great game with both teams going out there to play.
- 8/11/13 London Wasps 21 – 24 Saracens
- 5/10/13 Saracens 19 – 12 London Wasps
- 30/3/13 London Wasps 13 – 22 Saracens
Player to watch
Elliot Daly – As one of England’s rising stars he is a consistent performer. He has a change of speed that can leave most oppositions clutching at thin air making him Wasps most deadly player for this weekends game. In his armoury he possesses a rocket of a left boot, that sometimes goes awry, but is capable of punishing ill discipline with three points from sixty metres. Although he only played the first half against Sarries earlier in the season he showed off all his skills and caused real problems every time he touched the ball.