Wasps claim home quarter-final
January 22, 2012
Wasps' Dom Waldouck feels the force of the Bordeaux Begles defence during their clash at Adams Park © Getty Images
London Wasps booked a home tie in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a 36-13 victory over Bordeaux Begles at Adams Park on Sunday.
Tries from centre Elliot Daly, flanker Matt Everard, replacement hooker Tom Lindsay and a penalty try saw the hosts claim top spot in Pool 3 and leap-frog Premiership rivals Exeter Chiefs in the race for the last home quarter-final. The visitors had threatened an upset by crossing for the opening try through winger Vunga Lilo but Wasps soon hit the front and never looked back with fly-half Ryan Davis finishing with 16 points thanks to four penalties and two conversions.
Elsewhere in the Pool, Bayonne routed Rovigo 92-6, but could not overhaul Wasps at the top. David Roumieu, Guillaume Bernard, Mark Chisholm, Thibault Lacroix, Clement Lagain, Clement Otazo, Mike Phillips, Marvin O'Connor and Julien Audy all crossed while Francois Carillo bagged a hat-trick and Joe Rokocoko a brace.
Exeter Chiefs secured a place in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a famous 31-14 victory over fading French giants Perpignan. The Sandy Park faithful watched their side recover from two early suckerpunches to progress from Pool 4. Perpignan flew out of the blocks in uncharacteristic fashion, bagging tries through hooker Charles Geli and winger Joffrey Michel, although the second of James Hook's conversions proved to be their last score.
Chiefs fly-half Ignacio Mieres then took a couple of bites out of the deficit with six of his 14 points for the match. Scrum-half Haydn Thomas crossed on 26 minutes, while Perpignan had lock Robins Tchale-Watchou in the sin-bin, and Mieres' third kick gave the hosts a lead at the break. The second-half was all Exeter, and after the hour they made their telling marks on the scoreboard. Loose-head Brett Sturgess went over on 60 minutes and was followed by replacement James Phillips, with Mieres and Gareth Steenson rounding out the scoring from the tee.
In the group's other game, the Dragons easily saw off Cavalieri Prato 45-13. The Welsh region scored seven tries, but handed the national team a Six Nations injury scare as flanker Dan Lydiate was helped off early on.
Stade Francais made short work of Worcester at the Stade Charlety, wrapping up a bonus-point 33-10 win and passage into the knockout stages from Pool 1. Last season's beaten finalists did most of the damage in the first-half and called on their international cast to see off their workmanlike visitors. Former Munster fullback Paul Warwick was joined on the scoresheet by Sergio Parisse and fellow Australian Morgan Turinui before the break.
Worcester's response came in the form of a converted try by fly-half Andy Goode, but Stade soon pulled further clear thanks to five points from ex-England wing Paul Sackey. With minutes left on the clock - and Alex Goode and Pascal Pape in the bin - former All Black scrum-half Byron Kelleher darted in to complete a comfortable win. Pool 1 minnows Bucuresti ended on a high by beating Crociati 26-13 at home.
Also on Saturday, Toulon breezed into the quarter-finals with a 50-6 rout of Petrarca Padova in Italy. The big-spending French side took Pool 2 thanks to a seven-try romp, with Benjamin Lapeyre bagging a brace. Laurent Emmanuelli, Fabien Cibray, Alexis Palisson and Gabi Lovobalavu also crossed, while the referee awarded the visitors a penalty try.
In the Pool's other game Lyon saw off the challenge of Newcastle 21-13. Mosese Ratuvou and Laurent Tranier scored either side of a penalty try to ensure a winning end to the French side's first European campaign.
Brive secured qualification to the knockout stages with a 19-9 win over Sale at a wet and windy Edgeley Park on Thursday evening. A late Antoine Claassen try was enough to put Brive into the knockout stages, with execution in the final quarter of the pitch letting the Sharks down. Sale needed to win the match by eight points to make it into the quarter-finals, but they were unable to find a way through in tough conditions.
Nick Macleod landed three penalties for the home side in the first-half, but with Julien Caminati on top form from the tee, Brive remained in control. The centre slotted four penalties and the conversion to Claassen's late intervention to secure victory. Elsewhere in Pool 5, Agen demolished La Vila, running out 62-7 winners in France.
Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final ranking:
Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals: (To be played April 5/6/7/8)
Stade Francais v Exeter
Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals: (To be played April 27/28/29)
Toulon/Harlequins v Stade Francais/Exeter
Final: Twickenham Stoop, Friday, May 18 (8.00)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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