Amlin Challenge Cup: Leinster crush Wasps to reach semi-finals
Last Updated: April 6, 2013 9:36am
Leinster showed no lack of appetite for the 'lesser' European competition as they saw off Wasps 48-28 in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals at Adams Park.
The Heineken Cup champions for three of the last four years played with plenty of intensity as they set up a home semi-final against Biarritz. With the final also to be held at their own RDS ground, Leinster will be favourites to lift the trophy for the first time.
The game got off to a blistering start as Andrea Masi made a second-minute break in midfield before sending Christian Wade racing in at the corner, although Nick Robinson missed the conversion.
Back roared Leinster with Fergus McFadden's flat pass putting Gordon D'Arcy through untouched under the posts.
Ian Madigan converted to edge Leinster ahead but a brilliant individual try from Wade turned the game once more, as this time the winger created his score all on his own, beating three defenders with his step and turn of foot.
With Stuart Lancaster and Warren Gatland looking on, the flier will have done his chances of a summer somewhere in the southern hemisphere no harm at all.
Madigan quickly replied with an equally eye-catching run, the conversion and a subsequent penalty putting Leinster 17-12 ahead, before Robinson and Madigan exchanged further penalties on the stroke of half-time.
Wasps were in the contest at that stage but 10 points in five minutes took the game away from them and they were unable to recover the initiative.
Madigan quickly knocked over a penalty then when Isa Nacewa hacked on, Robinson fumbled close to his line and prop Mike Ross scooped up the ball and was driven over.
Madigan and Robinson kicked penalties before a powerful burst and offload from Sean O'Brien put Rob Kearney in for a score.
The game was wide-open now although Leinster were too far ahead on the scoreboard for it to be a thriller.
Wade sent his fellow winger Tom Varndell in for a try before D'Arcy's quick hands gave Nacewa the chance to showcase his finishing skills in the corner.
There was still for time for Varndell to spin over for his second try, Madigan's fifth penalty completing the scoring.