ABBY Dow’s sensational second-half hat-trick helped Wasps Women on their way to a hard-fought win against Gloucester-Hartpury Women in a thrilling Allianz Premier 15s clash at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Dow ran from halfway to score a remarkable first try on 49 minutes before adding a second five minutes later as Wasps blitzed their opponents with a quickfire double.
The fullback then completed her hat-trick in mesmerising fashion on 64 minutes as she cut through the Gloucester defence with ease to secure a bonus point.
Gloucester had led at the break courtesy of Mo Hunt’s 28th minute effort and two penalties from Emma Sing with Maud Muir dotting down for Wasps and Florence Williams adding five points from the kicking tee.
The away side had pulled a try back through Bethan Lewis on 59 minutes but Wasps went further ahead when Claudia MacDonald went over in the corner on 67 minutes which put the hosts out of reach despite Ellie Underwood’s late score for the visitors.
Victory for Wasps Women was the club’s second success of the day after the men’s side beat Northampton Saints 26-20 in the first game of the double-header at the CBS Arena.
The visitors took an early lead when Sing kicked a penalty after just three minutes with Wasps punished for not releasing at the breakdown.
Wasps hit back on 10 minutes when Muir powered her way over the line to score the game’s first try with Williams successfully kicking the conversion.
The home side stretched their lead to seven points when Williams kicked a routine penalty after Gloucester were penalised at the scrum.
Gloucester then scored their opening try of the match through captain Hunt on 28 minutes when she crashed over the line with Sing unable to add the extras.
Louise Dodd then set Ellie Boatman away down the right only for her attempted offload to rebound off a Gloucester player and go out of play for a lineout.
The visitors then forced Wasps to kick up-field from behind their own try line before the hosts won a penalty to relieve the pressure.
The game became frantic just before the break as Wasps broke into Gloucester’s 22 before eventually knocking on after a big tackle from Tabitha Copson.
Gloucester then kicked in-behind the Wasps defence with Celia Quansah recovering the ball well to keep her side in control.
Wasps were then penalised right on the stroke of half-time which allowed Sing to edge Gloucester into a one-point lead at the break with a well-taken penalty.
The second-half began as the first ended as Wasps continued to struggle at the breakdown – conceding another penalty as they attempted to build some momentum close to the Gloucester try line.
Gloucester were then camped in the Wasps half for the next few minutes as Wasps stood firm to deny their opponents any space before eventually forcing a knock-on.
In need of a score, replacement Megan Jones produced a fine 40-metre break up-field as she weaved between several Gloucester players before a grubber kick found touch to kill the momentum.
However, Wasps would not be kept out for long as Dow took matters into her own hands on 49 minutes with a sensational solo try, running with the ball from half-way and slaloming in-between a number of players before touching down.
And Wasps found their rhythm again on 54 minutes when they worked the ball over to the right which allowed Dow to dive in for her second try with Jones converting superbly from out wide.
However, Gloucester responded with a try from Lewis on 59 minutes after good work from the visiting forwards with Sing converting a simple kick from in front of the posts.
But the away side had no answer to Dow as she completed her hat-trick on 64 minutes with another mesmerising run, cutting through the Gloucester defence before finishing close to the sticks.
Wasps were not finished there as skipper MacDonald collected an overthrow and ran the length of the field to score the hosts fifth try of the evening on 67 minutes to put the home side out of sight.
Gloucester scored a late consolation try through Underwood with three minutes left to play with Sing converting magnificently as Wasps saw out the remaining time to wrap-up a bonus point victory.
Wasps Tries: Muir (10’), Dow (49’, 54’, 64’), MacDonald (67’)
Wasps Conversions: Williams (11’), Jones (55’, 65’)
Wasps Penalties: Williams (24’)
Gloucester-Hartpury Tries: Hunt (28’), Lewis (59’), Underwood (77’)
Gloucester-Hartpury Conversions: Sing (60’, 78’)
Gloucester-Hartpury Penalties: Sing (3’, 40’)
Wasps XV: 15. Dow, 14. Boatman, 13. Wilson Hardy, 12. Dodd, 11. Quansah, 10. Williams, 9. MacDonald (C), 1. Crake, 2. Kerr, 3. Muir, 4. Cooney, 5. Burnfield, 6. McMahon, 7. Molloy, 8. Millar-Mills.
Interchanges: 16. Ransley, 17. Evans, 18. Adefemiwa Afilaka, 19. Balogun, 20. Burton, 21. Wong, 22. Jones, 23. Cooksey.
Gloucester-Hartpury XV: 15. Sing, 14. Smith, 13. Tandy, 12. Lake, 11. Underwood, 10. George, 9. Hunt (C), 1. Pope, 2. Powell, 3. Hale, 4. Pinnock, 5. Aldcroft, 6. Brock, 7. Lewis, 8. Copson.
Interchanges: 16. Dale, 17. Gilbert, 18. Roach, 19. Caplice, 20. Isaac, 21. Blackburn, 22. Wilkins, 23. Mundy.