McGeechan's men tear Leeds apart

Leeds 23 Wasps 47
Click to follow
The Independent Online

After the break, Wasps tore Leeds to pieces to score five tries, earn a bonus point and go second in the table.

Leeds deserved to be in front after a barren first 40 minutes when Mark van Gisbergen shaded Roland de Marigny in a penalty shoot-out by four to three.

With the interval imminent, and not a try in sight, Jon Dunbar made a terrific break, and though he did not have the necessary pace to make the line Justin Marshall was on hand to dig the ball out before setting off on a run across the face of the posts.

It looked as the Kiwi was going nowhere, but Iain Balshaw was close enough to take a pass and scoot over in the right corner. De Marigny had no trouble with the conversion, so Leeds went in 16-12 up.

After the break Van Gisbergen was guilty of fluffing a straightforward pass; though as he went on to score 22 of Wasps' points there was a clear case for forgiveness.

From an unpromising maul, Stuart Abbott stole away and, though he was chased down by Tom Biggs, Tom Voyce scooped up the ball for Wasps' first try.

McGeechan then made some crucial substitutions and it was not until the 78th minute that Leeds scored again, when Stuart Hooper crossed the tryline. If there was any comfort in that small chunk of consolation, it was dispelled quickly, when Paul Sackey touched down. Hooper's try was preceded by two tries from Raphael Ibañez and one for John Hart.

Phil Davies led Leeds to the Powergen Cup last year, sealing a place in this season's Heineken Cup. However, with Leicester due at Headingley on Sunday, Leeds could find the long haul away from the foot of the table a more difficult task than anything they achieved last season.

Leeds: Tries Balshaw, Hooper; Conversions De Marigny, Ross; Penalties De Marigny 3. Wasps: Tries Voyce, Ibañez 2, Hart, Sackey; Conversions Van Gisbergen 5; Penalties Van Gisbergen 4.

Leeds: I Balshaw (capt); T Biggs, C Jones, A Snyman, D Doherty: R de Marigny (G Ross, 63), J Marshall; M Shelley (M Cusack, 48-64), R Rawlinson (G Bulloch, 56), G Kerr, C Murphy (S Hooper, 56), T Palmer, J Dunbar (S Morgan, 56), R Parks, J Crane.

Wasps: M van Gisbergen; P Sackey, F Waters (A Erinle, 57), S Abbott, T Voyce; A King (J Brooks, 72), M Dawson (E Reddan, 75); T Payne (P Bracken, 10-16; 75), B Gotting (R Ibañez, 57), J Dawson, M Purdy (S Shaw, 57), R Birkett, J Hart (capt), J O'Connor (M Lock, 76), J Worsley.

Referee: M Fox (Leicestershire).