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London Wasps (13) 35 - 13 (10) Leinster
Adams Park, High Wycombe
Att: 10,000
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Saturday 31st March 2007, 17:45

Adams Park, High Wycombe was the setting of this Heineken Cup quarter final between the 2004 champions Wasps and Leinster. Leinster were without Brian O'Driscoll and the side was captained by Felipe Contepomi in his absence.

Leinster began the match nervously with Contepomi's start not going the ten and a penalty conceded from the ensuing scrum. Alex King obliged with the kick and Wasps were off to a bright start. The match continued in a scrappy vein and Wasps doubled their advantage with a second King penalty after 11 minutes.

Leinster had an opportunity to get on the scoreboard a couple of minutes later, but Contepomi put a kickable penalty wide. Leinster weren't playing with any fluency and mistakes were creeping into their game with players knocking the ball on in crucial positions.

Against the run of play Leinster grabbed themselves a lifeline. Chris Whitaker's dummy pass clearing a path to score the easiest of tries. Contepomi converted to give Leinster the lead.

Leinster had a foothold in the game for the first time and were applying pressure to the Wasps defence when Eoin Reddan pounced on a loose ball from a Leinster scrum to race 70 yards to touch down. King despatched the conversion to give Wasps a 6 point lead.

Leinster responded well and put together several phases of rugby controlling possession and territory. They were rewarded with a penalty in the Wasps half, but Contepomi was again inaccurate with the boot. Lawrence Dallaglio was sin binned shortly after as Wasps looked to hold on under pressure from the visitors, and on the stroke of half time Contepomi was at last successful with a penalty kick, and Leinster went in at half time trailing by a mere three points.

Leinster emerged for the second half looking to capitalise on their man advantage, but it was Wasps who took the game on with a James Haskell try and a King conversion. It got worse for Leinster with full back Daniel Cipriani crossing to extend Wasps lead to 15 points, while reduced to fourteen men.

No sooner was Dallaglio back on than Waldouck was off in the sin bin and Leinster struck three points to close the gap slightly. The next ten minutes seemed crucial if Leinster were to recover, but instead of capitalising on their numerical advantage, Leinster evened the score with Malcolm O'Kelly yellow carded and King striking the ensuing penalty.

It got worse for Leinster when Wasps full complement was restored . James Haskell fed his fellow try scorer Reddan to race in for his second to seal Leinster’s fate with fifteen minutes left.

The final quarter of an hour was played out as a dead rubber, Leinster without the inspiration and Wasps without the inclination to further add to the tally. A disappointing and ignominious end to Leinster's European Odyssey for another season then and a huge task awaits to bounce back to seal the Magners League title.

Heineken Man of the Match: Simon Shaw
leinsterfans.com Man of the Match: Eoin Reddan

Match Stats
  London Wasps Leinster
Tries Haskell
Reddan (2)
Conversions King (3) Contepomi (1)
Penalties King (2) Contepomi (2)
Teams 15: Danny Cipriani
14: Josh Lewsey
13: Fraser Waters
12: Dominic Waldouck
11: Tom Voyce
10: Alex King
9: Eoin Reddan

1: Tim Payne
2: Raphael Ibanez
3: Phil Vickery
4: Simon Shaw
5: Tom Palmer
6: Joe Worsley
7: Tom Rees
8: Lawrence Dallaglio
15: Girvan Dempsey
14: Shane Horgan
13: Kieran Lewis
12 Gordon D'Arcy
11: Denis Hickie
10: Felipe Contepomi (C)
9: Chris Whitaker

1: Stanley Wright
2: Bernard Jackman
3: Will Green
4: Trevor Hogan
5: Malcolm O'Kelly
6: Stephen Keogh
7: Keith Gleeson
8: Jamie Heaslip
Replacements Bracken for Payne (29)
Haskell for Worsley (41)
Leo for Dallaglio (62)
van Gisbergen on for F Waters (69)
McMillan for Reddan (76)
Blaney for Jackman (56)
Finegan for Hogan (62)
Kearney for Dempsey(68)
Warner for Lewis (68)
Jowitt for Keogh (72)
Sin-Bin Dallaglio (40)
Waldouck (56)
O'Kelly (64)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2007-04-03