Wasps sting Ulster's play-off hopes

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 18:11
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CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Wasps ended Ulster's hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals in the pouring rain at the Ricoh Arena with a 26-7 bonus-point win on Sunday.

The English side were left ruing their late Round 5 collapse at Harlequins last week as they finished second in Pool 1 behind La Rochelle, but with only 17 points, the same as Ulster.

Wasps had never lost at home to Irish opposition in the European Cup in nine games and they showed from the off that they had no intention of surrendering that record despite the dismal conditions.

First-half tries from flank Guy Thompson and hooker Tom Cruse - both converted by Danny Cipriani on his 50th European appearance - earned them a 14-7 interval lead, after Ulster flank, Sean Reidy had capitalised on a wayward Christian Wade pass to level matters at 7-7.

Wasps then rammed home their superiority in the second half with further tries from fullback Willie Le Roux and prop Jake Cooper-Woolley, plus a further Cipriani conversion to run out comfortable winners.

The Wasps' win is good news for defending champions Saracens, who will now play in the quarter-finals.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Thompson, Cruse, Le Roux, Cooper-Woolley
Cons: Cipriani 3

For Ulster:
Try: Reidy
Con: Cooney

Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Jack Willis, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Brendan Macken

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nathan Timoney, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Kyle McCall
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Matt Rea, 20 Chris Henry, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Jonny McPhillips, 23 Rob Lyttle

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Jonathan Dufort (France)
TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4