Wasps claim five points against Ulster but fall short of a last eight place

On a miserable afternoon at the Ricoh Arena, Wasps produced a quality performance which earned them a bonus point win over Ulster.

26 - 7
Wasps Ulster

Sun 21st January 2018
3:15 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium European Rugby Champions Cup As it happened
The result lifted them above the Irish side, to claim second place in pool one of the Champions Cup, but results elsewhere meant that Dai Young’s team finished agonizingly short of a place in the knock-out stages.
The hosts took an early lead through Guy Thompson, which was soon cancelled out by Sean Reidy’s score.

A try from the outstanding Tom Cruse then restored a seven-point interval lead, after which further scores by Willie Le Roux and Jake Cooper-Woolley delivered a deserved victory.
With the rain continuing to fall on the already  sodden surface, Ulster made early use of the high kick, while Wasps favoured putting the ball through the hands.
After eight minutes, Danny Cipriani turned down the chance of three points to send a kick to the corner. Following the lineout, Thompson and Jack Willis were both stopped just short, but another penalty ensued and the lineout drive powered Thompson over the line.
Cipriani added a good conversion, after which Le Roux showed his attacking threat with a counter-attack from his own 22, only for his pass to Marcus Watson to go into touch, just short of halfway.
Dan Robson’s lightning burst then took Wasps deep into the 22, but the Ulster defence held firm, and the visitors soon claimed an equalizing score.
Le Roux gathered a kick inside his 22 and fed Wade, but the winger’s pass infield was intercepted by Louis Ludik who fed Darren Cave after which Sean Reidy went over near the posts. John Cooney landed the simple conversion.
Another adventurous Wasps counterattack then found space on the left, but Watson was unable to hang on to the ball, a few metres inside the visitors’ half.
Some neat hands then sent Wade away down the right, and it took a fine tackle by Ludik to bring him down inside the Ulster 22.
But Wasps kept play alive through a series of phases before Le Roux sent a chip over the defence and Cruse won the race to the ball to touch down inches short of the dead-ball line.
Cipriani added a fine conversion to put his side 14-7 ahead, which was how it stayed until the break, after which a wonderful sustained attack sparked by Le Roux nearly produced a third try, only for Thompson to be tackled into touch a metre from the left corner.
But this only delayed the home side momentarily, and after the Wasps pack made a mess of an Ulster scrum, Cipriani’s long pass found Le Roux, whose angled run took him over.

Ulster then tried to move the ball from deep, but a stray pass was poached by man-of-the-match Cruse, who almost made it to the line for the bonus point score.
However, this created the field position from which the fourth try did eventually come, when Cooper-Woolley powered over from close range. Cipriani stretched the lead to 26-7, with his third conversion.
Wasps dominated the rest of the game, but were unable to add a further score and the afternoon’s final act saw Le Roux gather a kick-ahead inside his 22 and send the ball into touch, bringing this season’s European campaign to an end.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Simon McIntyre
  2. Tom Cruse
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. Joe Launchbury
  5. James Gaskell
  6. Jack Willis
  7. Guy Thompson
  8. Nizaam Carr
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Marcus Watson
  12. Kyle Eastmond
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Ashley Johnson
  17. Ben Harris
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Kearnan Myall
  20. Thomas Young
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Rob Miller
  23. Brendan Macken

Ulster Line ups

  1. Kyle McCall
  2. Rory Best
  3. Rodney Ah You
  4. Alan O'Connor
  5. Kieran Treadwell
  6. Iain Henderson
  7. Sean Reidy
  8. Nick Timoney
  9. John Cooney
  10. Christian Lealiifano
  11. Jacob Stockdale
  12. Stuart McCloskey
  13. Darren Cave
  14. Louis Ludik
  15. Charles Piutau
  16. Rob Herring
  17. Andrew Warwick
  18. Wiehahn Herbst
  19. Matthew Rea
  20. Chris Henry
  21. Dave Shanahan
  22. Johnny McPhillips
  23. Robert Lyttle