Ge­orge en­joys win­ning re­turn as Daly apol­o­gises for care­less hands

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Gallagher Premiership - By Kate Rowan at Al­lianz Park

A tale of con­trast­ing for­tunes for Eng­land team-mates Jamie Ge­orge and El­liot Daly ended with Sara­cens re­main­ing the Premier­ship’s only un­beaten side.

While the home hooker put in a tryscor­ing man-of-the-match per­for­mance in a rather sloppy and er­ror-strewn game, Daly will be re­mem­bered for a blind pass in­ter­cepted by Nick Isiekwe. The sub­se­quent score 10 min­utes from time added gloss to Sara­cens’ win – their ninth in suc­ces­sion in the league, a run that has moved them two points clear at the top.

Af­ter­wards, Wasps di­rec­tor of rugby Dai Young re­fused to be overly crit­i­cal of Daly, who had switched from full­back un­der Ed­die Jones to his pre­ferred po­si­tion at out­side cen­tre.

In­stead Young em­pha­sised his frus­tra­tion at his side’s col­lec­tive er­rors in sec­ond half af­ter their fairly dogged at­tack­ing ef­fort in the first. “El­liot came in and apol­o­gised to the play­ers. We didn’t lose the game through that mis­take but it doesn’t help. We were un­der pres­sure to try and play and mis­takes hap­pen,” he said.

Wasps failed to cross the try­line all match. On his side’s en­deav­our to press a well-or­gan­ised Sara­cens de­fence in the first half only for play­ers such as Michele Cam­pag­naro to frit­ter away at­tack­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, Young used a colour­ful anal­ogy.

“You can’t fault the ef­fort but that’s like tap­ping the milk­man on the back for de­liv­er­ing the milk,” he said. “But it’s frus­trat­ing when you see some ba­sic er­rors that don’t al­low you to play the rugby you want to play. I’m not happy with many parts of our game.”

Alex Lo­zowski chan­nelled the dis­ap­point­ment of be­ing cut from the Eng­land squad against Aus­tralia into a flaw­less 19-point per­for­mance. Sara­cens di­rec­tor of rugby Mark McCall de­scribed his ef­forts from the kick­ing tee, from which he struck five penal­ties and two con­ver­sions, as “beau­ti­ful”.

On the de­ci­sion to rest Owen Far­rell while the likes of Ge­orge and Maro Itoje re­turned a week af­ter Eng­land duty, McCall said: “Ev­ery­body is a bit dif­fer­ent re­ally and ev­ery­body has an in­di­vid­ual plan which they have for the next six weeks.

“In Owen’s case, it is not just the play­ing time he had but the re­spon­si­bil­ity. We thought it would be a good idea to get him away from rugby for a week, to keep him fresh, more men­tally than phys­i­cally.”

Wasps looked like they were tir­ing af­ter Daly slot­ted the sec­ond of his two long-range penal­ties, al­low­ing Saramo­ment cens to gain ter­ri­tory. When Lo­zowski’s fourth penalty sailed over, their con­fi­dence ap­peared to fade.

Once Ge­orge scored the first try on the hour from a pass from Alex Goode, a come­back looked beyond the visi­tors. Wasps’ at­tack­ing threat was fur­ther dithe min­ished by the in­jury to Nathan Hughes, who went off winded from falling awk­wardly on the ball at the bot­tom of a ruck.

McCall was happy with how his side re­acted de­spite re­main­ing with­out a try for so long. “I was most pleased by how we didn’t get frus­trated by the score­board not re­flect­ing the posses­sion and ter­ri­tory we had,” he said.

“A lot of that was down to how well Wasps de­fended in the first half and we couldn’t get the quick ball we wanted.”

With Daly’s loose pass af­ter he had col­lected a kick from the Wasps line, Isiekwe gal­loped over and Lo­zowski’s con­ver­sion com­pleted the scor­ing.

Scores 3-0 Lo­zowski pen; 3-3 Daly pen; 6-3 Lo­zowski pen; 9-3 Lo­zowski pen; 9-6 Daly pen; 12-6 Lo­zowski pen; 17-6 Ge­orge try; 19-6 Lo­zowski con; 22-6 Lo­zowski pen; 27-9 Isiekwe try; 29-6 Lo­zowski con; Sara­cens M Gal­lagher (N Tomp­kins 68); S Mait­land, A Lo­zowski, B Bar­ritt (capt), A Lew­ing­ton; A Goode, R Wig­glesworth (B Spencer 70); T Lamositele (R Adams-Hale 55), J Ge­orge (T Wool­s­ten­croft 70), V Koch (J Fi­gallo 55), M Itoje (D Day 70), W Skel­ton (N Isiekwe 55), M Rhodes, C Clark (B Earl 62), J Wray. Wasps W Le Roux; R Neal, E Daly (capt), M Le Bour­geois (J de Jongh 73), M Cam­pag­naro; L Sopoaga (B Searle 61), C Hampson (W Porter 68); B Har­ris (Z Zh­va­nia 61), A Har­ris (G Oghre 61), K Brookes (M Daniels 61), W Row­lands, K Myall, B Shields (B Mor­ris 63), N Carr, N Hughes (C Matthews 68). Ref­eree JP Doyle.

Back with a bang: Jamie Ge­orge goes over for the try that helped ex­tend Sara­cens’ win­ning streak

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