Ian Madigan kicks Leinster towards another final
Wasps 28 Leinster 48
Saturday 06 April 2013
Leinster will play their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Biarritz in Dublin, with every chance of reaching a fourth European final in five years. Christian Wade won’t be at home watching – the Wasps wing will be with England in Argentina, if not with the Lions in Australia, after a blistering display of pace and punishing finishing.
Sadly for the hosts, a bright start was snuffed out by Leinster’s edge in the tight, their physicality and a ruthless display of kicking by fly-half Ian Madigan who scored 28 points.
In bygone days, these European aristocrats would have been clashing in Heineken Cup competition, having won the ultimate club prize five times between them. Winning rugby’s equivalent of the Europa League at least guarantees re-entry into that elite company next season.
Wasps left the blocks the faster, Nick Robinson’s flat pass arming Andrea Masi who carved open the Leinster defence before sending Wade sprinting clear up the right with just two minutes on the clock.
It took Leinster three minutes to reply in equal style. Fergus McFadden’s snappy pass released Gordon D’Arcy, and as Wasps waited for another pass, the Ireland centre finished in a straight line, Madigan converting.
But with Lions head coach Warren Gatland and England head coach Stuart Lancaster watching, Wade ripped asunder the visitors again on 15 minutes, taking another flat Robinson offering and scorching clear of all challengers. Robinson converted.
Madigan topped that for class on 23 minutes, dancing through some suspect tackling for a fine solo try which he also converted.
Robinson and Madigan wrapped up a splendid opening half with penalties, but it was Leinster who turned the screw from the restart. Madigan kicked another goal on 44 minutes, and when Isa Nacewa kicked ahead two minutes later, Elliot Daly fumbled, and the pack drove prop Mike Ross over for the try after securing the loose ball.
The game was won and lost on the hour. Sean O’Brien stormed up the right, and by the time he was halted, Rob Kearney was in support for Leinster’s fourth try.
Nacewa added a fifth try in between two fine finishes by Tom Varndell, who scored when it was actually too late to matter.
Scorers: Wasps: Tries Wade 2, Varndell 2. Con Robinson. Pens Robinson 2. Leinster: Tries D’Arcy, Madigan, Ross, R Kearney, Nacewa. Cons Madigan 4. Pens Madigan 5.
Wasps E Daly; C Wade, A Masi, C Bell, T Varndell; N Robinson, J Simpson; S Taulafo, T Thomas, P Swainston, T Palmer, M Wentzel (c), J Launchbury, A Johnson, S Jones.
Leinster R Kearney; D Kearney, F McFadden, G D’Arcy, I Nacewa; I Madigan, I Boss; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen (c), D Toner, K McLaughlin, J Heaslip, S O’Brien.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France).
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Usain Bolt taken out by clumsy photographer on Segway during victory lap after World Championships 200m win over Justin Gatlin
Club Brugge 0 Manchester United 4 player ratings: Wayne Rooney scores hat-trick, but who impressed in Champions League tie?
Javier Hernandez: Great night for Manchester United, terrible night for Chicharito
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs