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Wasps edge Dragons

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:54
Tomvarndelldragons
Perpignan ease into play-offs
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London Wasps edged Newport Gwent Dragons 20-19 in their European Challenge Cup pool match at Rodney Parade on Thursday.

In Thursday’s other fixture, Perpignan sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the 40-22 win over Rovigo.

We look at Thursday’s action!

Dragons 19-20 London Wasps

London Wasps picked up a hard-fought win at Newport Gwent Dragons as they made it five wins and a draw from their six pool games.

Wasps were already assured of a place in the knockout stages prior to their trip to Wales but they left Rodney Parade with a 20-19 success that sees them move on to 25 points and keeps their hopes of a home quarterfinal alive.

The former champions missed out on a bonus point but a penalty try and Nicky Robinson's solo effort saw them edge out a spirited Dragons side for whom Dan Evans' claimed a solitary try.

Tom Prydie missed the target with a penalty attempt with just a minute gone and Evans followed suit with a failed drop goal but the Dragons did finally take the lead after 13 minutes.

Robinson hit back with his first penalty after 20 minutes - four minutes after Andrea Masi's chargedown of Evans' attempted clearance looked like spelling danger for the Dragons.

It was the Dragons who claimed the game's opening try on 25 minutes, though, as Evans picked up Rob Sidoli's flip pass off his toes 10 metres from the Wasps line.

Prydie's conversion had the hosts seven points clear but a second Robinson penalty closed the gap before Wasps were celebrating a try of their own.

The celebrations almost started after Evans was charged down for a second time, with Prydie then failing to tidy up under pressure from Jonathan Poff but Masi couldn't quite get downward pressure as the ball dropped from a height.

Wasps didn't have to wait long to claim their opening seven-pointer, though, as they took the resulting scrum past 90 degrees and then drove straight through the Dragons on their attacking ball.

Referee Marius Mitrea had no hesitation in pointing to the posts when both Dragons flanks became detached from the set-piece to see the visitors take the lead for the first time.

Robinson's straightforward conversion made it 13-10 in Wasps' favour but Prydie ensured it was all square at the break when he slotted his second penalty with the final play of the half.

Prydie struck again with another penalty 12 minutes into the second 40 but there was bad news to come for the Dragons when Toby Faletau saw yellow for failing to roll away after his side had been warned repeatedly for breakdown offences.

Robinson took advantage of the extra man almost immediately as he collected his own grubber just to the left of the sticks for Wasps' second try.

The conversion had Wasps 20-16 to the good after 56 minutes but a long-range penalty from substitute Steffan Jones pulled the Dragons back to within a point with six minutes remaining.

The Dragons finished strongly but the Wasps' defence held firm to ensure they head into the last eight unbeaten.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Try:
Evans
Con: Prydie
Pens: Prydie 3, Jones

For London Wasps:
Tries:
Penalty, Robinson
Cons: Robinson 2
Pens: Robinson 2

Yellow card: Toby Faletau (Dragons, 54)

Teams:

Dragons:
15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Jack Dixon.

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (captain), 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 James Cannon, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Chris Bell.

Referee: Marius Mitrea
Assistant Referees: Stefano Penne (Italy) , Stefano Marrama (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)

Perpignan 40-22 Rovigo

Perpignan became the fourth side to qualify for the quarterfinals of the after they claimed a comfortable 40-22 win over Rovigo.

The Catalan giants knew a bonus-point success would secure a last eight place and they were as good as there by half-time at the Stade Aimé Giral.

Perpignan had the try-bonus sewn up by the break as they crossed four times in the opening 30 minutes and the remarkable comeback that Rovigo needed to help prolong Worcester's qualification hopes was never on the cards.

Even if the English outfit pick up maximum points against Bizkaia Gernika RT on Sunday, Perpignan will pip them to top spot in Pool Two as they scored more tries in their double header back in December.

Worcester won the Round Three clash 22-21 at Sixways and Perpignan triumphed 13-6 in the return leg a week later but it was Marc Delpoux's men who were in the box seat after scoring three tries to one over the two games.

Farid Sid set Perpignan on their way with a brace of tries in the first eight minutes, although Rovigo did hit back with a Luke Mahoney try and a Stefan Basson penalty to cut the gap to 14-8 after a quarter of an hour.

Basson missed the chance to create a three-point ball game after 19 minutes and Perpignan made him pay as they crossed twice more in the next 10 minutes.

Sid's wing partner Armand Batlle went over on 21 minutes, with tighthead prop Kisi Pulu following suit just before the half hour.

Andrea Bacchetti did provide a swift response for the visitors with a converted try moments later but Perpignan were 28-15 to the good at the interval after Gilles Bosch converted all four of his side's scores.

Perpignan took their foot off the gas in the early stages of the second period as they brought on a raft of replacements but they did claim their fifth seven-pointer after 55 minutes courtesy of a penalty try which James Hook converted.

Bacchetti's second score gave the Italians a glimmer of hope at 35-22 with 16 minutes still to play but Hook had the final word with a sixth try with just over five minutes to go, with Rovigo then seeing centre Joe van Niekerk red carded moments later.

Perpignan join Premiership sides Gloucester, Bath and London Wasps in the knockout stages, with Stade Francais needing just a single point from Saturday's home clash with London Welsh to make it a French double.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Tries:
Sid 2, Battle, Pulu, Penalty, Hook
Cons: Bosch 5

For Rovigo:
Tries:
Mahoney, Bacchetti 2
Cons: Basson 2
Pen: Basson

Yellow card: Armand Batlle (Perpignan, 79)
Red card: Joe van Niekerk (Rovigo, 76)

Teams:

Perpignan:
15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Farid Sid, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Fabrice Catala, 11 Armand Batlle, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Tom Ecochard, 8 Henry Tuilagi (captain), 7 Dan Leo, 6 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Guillaume Vilaceca, 3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Jérôme Schuster
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Romain Bezian, 20 David Mele, 21 James Hook, 22 Richard Haughton, 23 Robins Tchale Watchou,

Rovigo: 15 Stefan Basson, 14 Lorenzo Lubian, 13 Francesco Menon, 12 Joe Van Niekerk, 11 Andrea Bacchetti, 10 Rhys Lenarduzzi, 9 Guido Calabrese, 8 Matteo Ferro, 7 Stefan Ciochina, 6 Aaron Persico, 5 Jean-François Montauriol, 4 Daniele Tumiati, 3 Alessio Ceglie, 2 Luke Mahoney (captain), 1 Otis Lombardi.
Replacements: 16 Younes Anouer, 17 Corrado Gaeta, 18 Nicola Quaglio, 19 Gabriele Pierini, 20 Davide Duca, 21 Mattia Merlo, 22 Alberto Zorzi, 23 Matteo Maran.

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Martyn Lewis (Wales), Barrie Gregory (Wales)
TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

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