The Saints Under-18s brilliantly ensured a winning start to their 2016/17 season, showing great resolve to come from behind and beat a game Wasps side at a sun drenched Stowe School.
The visitors had made the most of their time on top in the opening 40 minutes, pushing 24-10 ahead, but a quartet of tries on the bounce following the interval ensured this try fest ended in the Saints’ favour.
It certainly didn’t look like that would be the case in the opening quarter as Wasps pressed home their territorial and possessional dominance with a pair of close range scores.
A strong maul took Joe Britton over for the hosts and full back Emmet McDonnell added a second in the opposite corner thanks to fine work from Tosin Segun twice in the build-up. But on each occasion Wasps found a response and held a healthy lead having dotted down a fourth of the afternoon on the stroke of the break.
With a change in personnel at half-time though, the Saints came out with a fresh slate and immediately reversed the pressure that had applied from the opening whistle.
Zac Berrill wriggled over after a period camped on the visitors’ tryline and Samson Ma’asi’s lovely finish closed the gap to just a couple of points.
And the hosts would lead for the first time when Faysal Olabooye scythed through the black and gold line for another impressive converted score. The wind now well and truly in their sails, it was time to press home the tidal wave of momentum and it was Olabooye again causing Wasps all sorts of trouble. This time the flyer laid on a score for Joe Green, one that proved to be a match winner after Sam Heard added his third conversion of the day.
Despite the complete turnaround in fortunes, Wasps showed character and regathered well for a final assault inside the Saints’ 22. They were rewarded too, but the slick handling move proved mere consolation, the dotting down of the ball and subsequent conversion signalling the end of a thrilling contest.
8mins WASPS Try 0-7
15mins WASPS Try 0-12
20mins SAINTS Try Britton 5-12
24mins WASPS Try 5-19
28mins SAINTS Try McDonnell 10-19
35mins WASPS Try 10-24
HALF-TIME SAINTS 10 WASPS 24
43mins SAINTS Try Berrill Con Heard 17-24
47mins SAINTS Try Ma’asi 22-24
52mins SAINTS Try Olabooye Con Heard 29-24
60mins SAINTS Try Green Con Heard 36-24
80+mins WASPS Try and Con 36-31
FULL-TIME SAINTS 36 WASPS 31