Alfie Barbeary leads way for 14-man Wasps in famous win against Toulouse

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<span>Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
  • Wasps 30-22 Toulouse

  • Jacob Umaga sent off for dangerous tackle in 34th minute


Alfie Barbeary rounded off a famous victory for Wasps over the European champions Toulouse by scoring the decisive second-half try and sending a timely reminder of his burgeoning talent to Eddie Jones. Wasps played more than half the match with 14 men after Jacob Umaga’s red card in the 34th minute but produced a remarkably resilient performance.

If Wasps felt aggrieved at Umaga’s red card they channelled their anger to hugely impressive effect with Barbeary again on song. He has had a torrid run of injuries since bursting on to the scene but Jones names his Six Nations squad on Tuesday and on this evidence it would be a surprise if the 21-year-old is not included.

Barbeary was not alone in shining for Wasps, however. Jimmy Gopperth delivered another performance of quiet authority and supreme goal-kicking, James Gaskell, Charlie Atkinson and Biyi Alo all showed up well. Perhaps the greatest shame about the decision was that for the time he was on the field Umaga was inspired. Joining the line from full-back, his variety of kicks kept the defenders guessing and he was defensively robust to boot.

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There appeared to be mitigation in that Martin Page Relo had been tackled by Atkinson and was falling but ultimately the referee, Chris Busby, decided Umaga deserved a second red card in successive matches.

Ramos kicked Toulouse to within four points but Wasps weathered the storm until the interval and produced a second-half performance for the ages.

Jacob Umaga of Wasps is sent off by referee Chris Busby
Jacob Umaga of Wasps (second right) is sent off by referee Chris Busby. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

It was an ominous start for Wasps, who came into the match buoyant after ending Leicester’s winning run last Sunday but found themselves a try down after 70 seconds when François Cros flopped over from close range. But the procession from the champions never materialised.

Instead, Wasps established a foothold and then the ascendancy. They were level when Alo went over from close range and then ahead when Brad Shields was awarded the try after a driving maul.

Wasps lost Tom Wills to injury on 25 minutes but they continued to carry the fight to Toulouse before Umaga’s red card.

A Gopperth penalty, after Toulouse infringed at the scrum, pushed Wasps’ lead back out to seven early in the second half, however – the home side refusing to be cowed by their numerical disadvantage.

Barbeary had been, by his standards, quiet but one of his trademark surges up the middle brought another three points from Gopperth and a yellow card for the Toulouse No 8, Anthony Jelonch. There were certainly parallels with Umaga’s tackle – Jelonch going high on Barbeary after Page Relo had initially tackled the Wasps’ back-rower.

Toulouse fought their way back to within five points with the hooker, Peato Mauvaka, finishing off from the back of a maul but when they threatened again Barbeary was on hand for a crucial turnover and familiar celebration to boot.

Soon after he powered his way over in the right corner after Atkinson had passed up a golden opportunity with Ali Crossdale outside him, and moments later Barbeary’s interception and subsequent kick forward almost teed up Bassett.

A late Gopperth penalty sealed the victory and ensured that even though Toulouse struck with a last-gasp try through Emmanuel Meafou, they missed out on a losing bonus point.

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