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Injuries to Daly and Mullen dampen Wasps´ win at Northampton

Injuries to Elliot Daly and Matt Mullan were the only blemishes as Wasps continued to display signs of revival after a troubled start to the season in a 38-22 Aviva Premiership victory over Northampton.

Daly failed to appear for the second half at Franklin’s Gardens after sustaining a problem to his right knee before Mullan departed nursing a left shoulder complaint.

Adding to England’s list of casualties was Piers Francis, the Northampton playmaker who had to be helped from the pitch in the closing moments.

Elliot Daly is an injury concern for England

All three have been named in England’s training squad for their autumn series opener against Argentina at Twickenham on November 11 and are due to attend next week’s training camp in Portugal.

Injury-hit Wasps hardly needed fresh admissions into their treatment room but could at least celebrate a second successive victory that continues to place their five-match losing run in the rear view mirror.

The Premiership runners-up were more like the team that illuminated the top-flight over the last two seasons, crossing through Christian Wade, Ashley Johnson, Josh Bassett and Juan de Jongh to claim a bonus point.

Northampton slipped to a fourth successive defeat and there was a hint of controversy over the first of their two tries, but Wasps were also to blame for Ahsee Tuala dashing over in the 18th minute.

Willie le Roux failed to find touch and Ben Foden counter-attacked, making room on the short side and aided by a minor block by Jamie Gibson on Jamie Haskell before feeding Tuala the scoring pass.

It was a well-worked try, but as the half hour mark approached Northampton trailed 9-8 after indiscipline had enabled Jimmy Gopperth to land three penalties.

A frantic passage of play ended with a Wasps try that had a comical ending at odds with the thrilling build up that began when Daly and Wade attacked before Tuala and Nafi Tuitavake brought Franklin’s Gardens to its feet with a riposte.

Thomas Young pounced for a turnover close to his line, however, and when Johnson kicked ahead Wade was able to gather the ball at a stroll in the absence of any Saints defence and touch down.

Wasps were denied a legitimate try by the linesman’s flag as replays showed scrum-half Dan Robson’s footwork to be precise as he darted down the narrowest of blindsides and they could feel doubly aggrieved as Foden was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on as the line beckoned.

Foden’s absence resulted in Northampton’s defence being expertly stretched to breaking point, man of the match Guy Thompson making a tackle-busting down one wing before a long scoring pass from le Roux to Johnson exploited the space down the other.

Two penalties from Francis narrowed the lead to 21-17 but Bassett side-stepped his way over after superb approach work from Gopperth and Joe Launchbury.

De Jongh showed strength to post Wasps’ fourth try, but it was Saints who had the final word through a terrific solo touch down by Harry Mallinder.

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