Warriors booked their place in the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup with another stunniung comeback which swept them to a dramatic bonus point victory in this Derby Day match.
Warriors needed to win by more than two points and with a try bonus point to finish as top seed but that appeared unlikely when Wasps full-back Rob Miller crossed six minutes into the second half to put the visitors 13-9 ahead.
But Warriors responded with four tries in a 15 minute purple patch, two of them from Bryce Heem, which took them beyond the last 16 of this competition in its various guises for the first time.
Warriors will now host Saracens on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm) and will also have the added incentive of hosting the final on March 17 if they can beat the Premiership champions.
The final scoreline eventually reflected Warriors’ domination but they had to work very hard for the win against a powerful Wasps side.
Warriors were committed to playing attacking rugby throughout but until their try blitz they had to rely on the dead eye kicking of Duncan Weir to peg Wasps back.
Warriors dominated the opening quarter but were unable to turn their pressure into points and it was Wasps, against the run of play, who took the lead with an interception try.
Warriors had worked hard in attack but it was a lapse of concentration near halfway that led to winger Josh Bassett snaffling it and sprinting clear for an unconverted try.
Warriors had set out their stall to score tries but had to rely on Weir to get them into the match.
The Scotland international fly-half struck with a 22nd minute penalty which was immediately cancelled out by one from his Wasps counterpart Lima Sopoaga after Warriors failed to claim the restart kick.
Weir pulled back another three points after 27 minutes and gave Warriors the lead two minutes from half-time.
Warriors thought that they had scored a try when a swift attack from a lineout sent Dean Hammond over in the corner.
But referee Michael Hudson conferred with TMO David Grashoff who spotted a knock-on and the try was wiped out and replaced with a penalty under the posts for an off-side earlier in the attack.
With lengthy injury stoppages for treatment to Jake Cooper-Woolley and Nick Schonert, who failed a HIA, the first half lasted 55 minutes.
Miller’s try, after another incisive run from Bassett, was almost followed by another after Joe Simpson intercepted. But Warriors managed to scramble back in defence and escaped with conceding only a penalty from Billy Searle.
The game swung dramatically when Francois Venter followed up his own chip and Heem supplied a superb finish with Weir converting from touch.
Venter then went over after a period of sustained pressure and Weir levered over the conversion to give Warriors a lead they were not to lose.
Heem, a constant menace to Wasps, then turned provider for Ethan Waller who arrived in support and Weir again added the extras.
Warriors were now totally dominant and Heem went over for the bonus point try after he collected a loose ball on the 22.
Weir’s conversion struck and upright and bounced out in his only miss of the afternoon and Nizaam Carr’s try came too late to stifle Warriors’ celebrations.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell (David 74), 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Francois Venter (Butler 70), 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard (Heaney 60), 1 Callum Black (Waller 48), 2 Jack Singleton (Annett 68), 3 Nick Schonert (Milasinovich 34), 4 Anton Bresler (Barry 58), 5 Pierce Phillips, 6 Marco Mama (Cox 74), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze (C)
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Matt Cox 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Will Butler, 23 Nick David.
17m | Bassett try 0-5
22m | Weir pen 3-5
27m | Weir pen 6-8
38m | Weir pen 9-8
46m | Miller try 9-13
52m | Searle pen 9-16
54m | Heem try 14-16
55m | Weir con 16-16
61m | Venter try 21-16
62m | Weir con 23-16
67m | Waller try 28-16
68m | Weir con 30-16
69m | Heem try 35-16
78m | Carr try 35-21
79m | Searle con 35-23