European Rugby Champions Cup: Wasps 20-20 Leinster

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at the Ricoh Arena
Christian Wade on the attack for Wasps
Christian Wade on the attack for Wasps
Wasps (6) 20
Tries: Mullan, Hughes Cons: Goode 2 Pens: Goode 2
Leinster (20) 20
Tries: McFadden, Boss Cons: Madigan 2 Pens: Madigan, Gopperth

Leinster reached the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup - and Wasps may yet join them after a breathless Pool Two draw at the Ricoh Arena.

First-half tries from winger Fergus McFadden and replacement scrum-half Isaac Boss helped Leinster ease to a 20-6 half-time lead.

But a try apiece from Matt Mullan and Nathan Hughes turned the game around.

And, although Andy Goode missed with a last minute drop-goal, Wasps finish second to keep their hopes alive.

They finish as runners-up thanks to a better head-to-head record over Harlequins, who secured a bonus-point victory at Castres.

And Wasps may yet earn an away tie in the last eight if their total of 18 points from their six group matches secures one of the three best runners-up places.

European Champions Cup Pool Two

Had it not been for visiting inside centre Ian Madigan missing four penalties, the fate of the Premiership side might already be sealed.

Indeed, Wasps' chances appeared to have dwindled after a disappointing first half in which they were reduced to 14 men after just 17 seconds.

Leinster wing Dave Kearney see-sawed over Ashley Johnson's shoulder in attempting to take a high ball and the Wasps flanker was sin-binned.

A groggy Kearney following him off shortly after, but the visitors took advantage of their extra man, McFadden going over in the right corner, with Madigan converting from the touchline.

Madigan missed with two penalty attempts before finally getting it right third time, then Jimmy Gopperth - who will be a Wasps player next season - also kicked a three-pointer to stretch the visitors' lead to 13-3.

Goode record
Coventry-born Andy Goode's four successful kicks took him to 59 points at the Ricoh Arena in only his third appearance at the club's new home ground.

Goode added the second of his two first-half penalties but, after Boss's try was allowed on a TMO decision and converted by Madigan, then Goode another penalty attempt, Leinster held a commanding 20-6 half-time lead.

Wasps thought they were back in it 10 minutes into the second half when wing Tom Varndell went over in the left corner, but referee Jerome Garces ruled for obstruction by Hughes on visiting centre Luke Fitzgerald.

Instead they had to wait until 19 minutes from time when Mullan was last to rise from the ground, as Wasps finally cashed in on sustained pressure with a pushover try.

Hughes then went in at the left corner 10 minutes later, diving over a ruck.

Goode hit a post with his conversion attempt but he was allowed to take it again as two Leinster players had attempted to charge down too soon.

That levelled the scores and, with Madigan missing a fourth penalty and Goode firing his drop-goal wide, it somehow remained that way.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BBC Sport:

"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that we left ourselves with too much to do. But I'm very proud of the commitment the players showed in the second half.

"We showed a lot of character to score 14 unanswered points when we could have folded against a team of Leinster's quality.

"We've still got a chance of going through but it's out of our hands now. We need other teams to do us favours but we were written off after losing our first two games."

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor told BBC Sport:

"In the first half, we were in control but we let them back into it and they scored from their only two chances. And I'm disappointed with how we've played second half.

"Then at the end I'm just glad we put enough pressure on Andy Goode to make him miss it.

"We've not yet guaranteed ourselves a home tie which is a bit disappointing. But, If someone had given us 20 points from this group at the start, we'd have taken it."

Andy Goode
Andy Goode's missed drop-goal means Wasps now have to depend upon other results to qualify
Leinster and Wasps
Leinster stunned Wasps in the first half before the hosts hit back to draw

Wasps: Miller, Wade, Daly, Jacobs, Varndell, Goode, Simpson, Mullan, Shervington, Cittadini, B. Davies, Gaskell, Johnson, Haskell, Hughes.

Replacements: Masi for Miller (60), Lozowski for Jacobs (76), McIntyre for Mullan (72), Festuccia for Shervington (57), Myall for Gaskell (57), Cooper-Woolley for Hughes (35).

Not Used: Thompson, E. Jackson.

Sin Bin: Johnson (1), Cittadini (28).

Leinster: R. Kearney, McFadden, Fitzgerald, Madigan, D. Kearney, Gopperth, Reddan, Bent, Cronin, Moore, Toner, Douglas, Ryan, J. Murphy, J. Heaslip.

Replacements: Fanning for D. Kearney (4), Boss for Reddan (26), Strauss for Cronin (62), Furlong for Moore (62), M. McCarthy for Douglas (71).

Not Used: Hagan, Conan, D'Arcy.

Sin Bin: Douglas (40).

Att: 23,493

Ref: Jerome Garces (France).

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