Cipriani returns to haunt Wasps
February 3, 2013
Danny Cipriani scored 13 points in Sale's win over Wasps © Getty Images
Danny Cipriani came back to haunt his old club, scoring one of Sale Sharks' five tries as they booked a place in the Anglo-Welsh semi-finals with a 33-30 victory at Wasps.
Cipriani missed the Aviva Premiership fixture at Adams Park in December after being dropped but produced a strong second-half showing in a match that turned on yellow cards for Will Taylor and Charlie Davies.
In their absence, the Sharks ran in three tries and managed to hold off a late onslaught and ensure Leicester can no longer catch them, regardless of their result at the Scarlets on Sunday. Cipriani, Sam Tuitupou and Tommy Taylor all crossed during the crucial period to add to previous penalty try and score from Kearnan Myall while Wasps scored tries through Charlie Hayter, Davies and Sam Jones.
Leicester played on Sunday but were on the wrong end of a 40-19 hiding at the hands of the Scarlets. The Welsh region scored three tries in the last 11 minutes to down the Aviva Premiership side with Andy Fenby, Gareth Owen and Nic Reynolds all scoring while Leicester's efforts came from Thomas Waldrom, Andy Forsyth and a penalty try. In the end, Owen Williams' boot proved to be the difference between the two sides with seven penalties to his name.
The Dragons were also in action and they bagged three tries en route to a 42-14 triumph over London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday. Hallam Amos, Ieuan Jones and Jevon Groves all crossed while Steffan Jones amassed an impressive 27-point haul with the boot.
An under-strength Saracens qualified for the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup with a hard-fought 22-12 victory over Worcester at Sixways. Saracens pipped London Irish to top Pool Three and probably face an away semi-final when the competition resumes in the middle of March. They scored an excellent early try through the outstanding Ernst Joubert, but had to rely on the goal-kicking skills of scrum-half Ben Spencer for the remainder of their points. Worcester were disappointing as, on paper, this is a game they should have won, but they were out-battled by a determined Saracens. The defeat ensured they finished bottom of Pool Two.
Northampton Saints failed to secure a place in the semi-finals as they lost 28-19 to Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday. Exeter ran in three tries in the opening 26 minutes through Ben White, Jack Nowell and Watisoni Votu as they opened up a 22-0 lead with Ignacio Meires adding two conversions and a penalty. Northampton hit back with tries from Alex Waller and Lee Dickson but further penalties from Meires ensured the hosts had a comfortable margin by the time Dickson scored his second try in the 76th minute. The victory keeps Exeter's faint hopes of reaching the last four alive ahead of Harlequins' clash with the Ospreys on Sunday.
An outstanding second half saw Bath secure their first win over West Country rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm since 2006 and only their second victory in 11 attempts against the Cherry and Whites with a 32-5 triumph. Four tries, from full-back Nick Abendanon, replacements Matt Gilbert and Semesa Rokoduguni plus New Zealander Stephen Donald added to a first half touchdown from Olly Woodburn against a solitary try for Gloucester from hooker Huia Edmonds.
London Irish lost 10-6 to Cardiff Blues at a rain-soaked Arms Park on Friday night. The Exiles took the lead in the first half through a penalty from full back Tom Homer but a try in the 34th minute from Blues centre Gavin Evans and conversion by fly half Rhys Patchell put Cardiff 7-3 up at half time. Homer again narrowed the deficit with a 56th minute penalty to make it 7-6 but Patchell secured victory for the Welsh side after slotting home a penalty in the 69th minute. A bonus point win would have secured a place in the final four for London Irish but Saracens' win over Worcester Warriors denied them a place in the semi-finals.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker