Outstanding Wasps win Pool 5

Date published: January 23 2016

Wasps inflicted a record European defeat on Leinster to book top spot in Pool 5 with a 51-10 thrashing in Coventry.

The hosts produced a stunning second half to qualify top of Pool Five with a bonus-point victory, edging ahead of Toulon on points scored in the head-to-head record to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions Cup.

Leading 15-10 at the break, Wasps scored five tries in the second half, with Leinster mere spectators at times.

Jimmy Gopperth and Joe Launchbury were among the try scorers, but it was an all-round team effort which supplied Wasps with the deserved victory.

It was in fact Leinster who got off to the better start, with Zane Kirchner touching down in the corner, but the conversion was missed by Johnny Sexton from the angle.

Sexton's afternoon got a little worse as he suffered a head injury which forced him off the pitch for assessment, and Wasps took advantage.

Gopperth levelled things up against his former employers, opting to go alone despite having teammates on the left. His decision paid dividends, and Gopperth converted to hand Wasps the lead.

Wasps then built on the narrow lead with another try. George Smith fed in Dan Robson, who skipped down the side-line before putting in Launchbury, who crashed over. Gopperth failed with the conversion, hitting the post.

With 29 minutes gone, Wasps' Lorenzo Cittadini was sent to the sin-bin for slowing the ball, and Leinster reduced the deficit through Eoin Reddan.

On the stroke of half-time, Gopperth made it 15-10 with a penalty from 22 metres out. And it was a carbon copy moments into the second half, Gopperth extending the lead to eight points.

Elliot Daly put real breathing space between the sides with a breathtaking try, starting from 40 yards out having been played through by Gopperth, who added the extras.

The bonus point was secured for Dai Young's side in the form of a penalty try. Gopperth converted to extend the lead to 22 points.

And the hosts were not done there. Frank Halai got over in the corner, and Gopperth made it 39-10. Charles Piutau then got in on the act, taking advantage of a spilt ball on halfway, and the try was converted by Ruaridh Jackson.

Wasps completed the rout via Ashley Johnson's try – the host's seventh of the day – with the conversion this time missed by Jackson.

The bonus point victory means that, if Ospreys fail to get the same result at Exeter on Sunday, Wasps will get a home tie for the quarter-final.

For Wasps:
Tries: Gopperth, Launchbury, Daly, Penalty Try, Halai, Piutau, Johnson
Cons: Gopperth 5, Jackson
Pens: Gopperth 2
Yellow Card: Cittadini

For Leinster:
Tries: Kirchner, Reddan

Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Josh Bassett, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Brendan Macken, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson 8 Sam Jones, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Rob Miller

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Zane Kirchner, 13 Luke Fitzgerald, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Rhys Ruddock, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Josh Van Der Flier, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Cathal Marsh, 23 Ben Te'o

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery (France), Thomas Déjean (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)