European Rugby Champions Cup: Wasps 82-14 Zebre

Frank Halai
Wasps winger Frank Halai scored his first try of the season
Wasps (42) 82
Tries: Miller 2, Cooper-Woolley, Simpson 2, Halai, Johnson, Daly, Launchbury, Bassett, Gaskell, Robson Cons: Cipriani 6, Gopperth 5
Zebre (14) 14
Tries: Ruzza 2 Cons: Padovani 2

Wasps opened their Champions Cup campaign with a record-breaking 12-try defeat of under-powered Italians Zebre.

Full-back Rob Miller crossed twice, with Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Simpson, Frank Halai and Ashley Johnson also scoring as the hosts claimed the bonus point well before half-time.

Simpson, Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Josh Bassett, James Gaskell and Dan Robson added tries in the second half.

It is Wasps' highest points total and biggest winning margin in Europe.

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani set up Simpson's first try with a sublime pass

Federico Ruzza scored twice for Zebre in their rare raids but they never threatened to deny Wasps - whose 12 tries are also a competition record for the club - less than the maximum four points from the match.

England coaches Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard were in the Ricoh Arena stands and will report back on another mature performance from fly-half Danny Cipriani whose deft skills, with both hand and boot, dissected the Zebre defence before he was withdrawn after 52 minutes.

An enterprising cameo from 24-year-old replacement winger Josh Bassett - a member of England's Under-20 side for the 2012 Junior World Championship - might also have caught their eye.

However, the concession of tries from a poorly defended rolling maul and a sloppy interception when running from deep will have irritated Wasps' director of rugby Dai Young.

Kyle Eastmond, signed from Bath in the summer, made his first start for Wasps and, while he did not manage to add his name to the lengthy scoresheet, he set up Robson for the hosts' final score with a delicious no-look, back-of-the-hand off-load.

Wasps now take on four-time winners Toulouse away on Sunday 23 October, with Pro12 champions Connacht completing Pool Two.

Wasps: Miller; Halai, Daly, Eastmond, Bassett; Cipriani, Simpson; Mullan, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Gaskell, Johnson, Young, Hughes.

Replacements: Taylor, Bristow, Swainston, Symons, Thompson, Robson, Gopperth, Leiua.

Zebre: Van Zyl; Di Giulio, Boni, Pratichetti, Venditti; Padovani, Palazzani; Postiglioni, Festuccia, Chistolini, Furno, Biagi (capt), Sarto, Minnie, van Schalkwyk.

Replacements: D'Apice, de Marchi, Ceccarelli, Koegelenberg, Ruzza, Violi, Castello, Canna.

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