Warriors had to settle for a losing bonus points despite 16 points from the boot of Duncan Weir in a nerve-jangling local derby at Sixways.
Weir’s 100 per cent record and tries from Marco Mama and Ollie Lawrence appeared to have laid the foundations for victory but Wasps’ clinical finishing proved decisive as they ran in three second half tries to claim a bonus point win.
The killer blow was struck by Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson seven minutes from time as he finished off a break from dangerman Zach Kibirige.
Warriors had the opportunity to snatch victory at the death when they won a penalty, kicked to the corner, won the lineout and tried to muscle their way over but were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown.
It was a second home defeat in as many weeks for Warriors and not the way that club captain GJ van Velze would have wanted to celebrate his 100th appearance. Van Velze was given a rousing reception from the crowd when he replaced Anton Bresler, who failed a head injury assessment, early in the second half.
Warriors dominated for long periods of the match but it was not until the final play of the half half that they finally breached Wasps’ defence.
Skipper Matt Moulds bravely opted to scrum a series of penalties close to the posts rather than allow Duncan Weir to kick for goal and his decisions were justified when Cornell du Preez picked up, fed Lawrence and the pack poured forward with Marco Mama crashing over.
Weir, recalled by Scotland for their Six Nations opener against Ireland, added the conversion to go with two well-struck earlier penalties which had twice given Warriors the lead.
In between Wasps had worked jimmy Gopperth over for an unconverted try with a sustained close range assault although Billy Searle, who will be a Warrior next season, was off target with his conversion attempt.
Kibirige also got over the line in the opening minutes but the score was chalked off by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys after replays showed full-back Matteo Minozzi had knocked on in the build-up.
Searle reduced the deficit with two penalties early in the second half before Weir responded with another for Warriors.
Kibirige equalised when he went over midway through the second half, latching onto a pinpoint accurate kick from Gopperth, and although Weir helped Warriors regain the lead Wasps worked Jack Willis over from close range with Searle adding the extras.
Lawrence’s try – a superbly-taken effort after he controlled the ball from an awkward bounce – and Weir’s conversion should have settled Warriors but Wasps always looked danderous with ball in hand Robson’s try, after Kibirige had again caused problems, sealed the win.
Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Howe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Michael Heaney, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Matt Moulds (C), 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Anton Bresler (van Velze 50), 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Cornell du Preez.
Replacements | 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Francois Venter.
13m | Weir pen 3-0
18m | Gopperth try 3-5
33m | Weir pen 6-5
40m | Mama try 11-5
40m | Weir con 13-5
46m | Searle pen 13-8
51m | Searle pen 13-11
54m | Weir pen 16-11
58m | Kibirige try 16-16
63m | Weir pen 19-16
65m | Willis try 19-21
66m | Searle con 19-23
68m | Lawrence try 24-23
69m | Weir con 26-23
72m | Robson try 26-28
73m | Searle con 26-30