European Champions Cup play-off: London Wasps beat Stade Francais
Last Updated: 24/05/14 4:23pm
London Wasps will play in next season's European Champions Cup after a 50-35 aggregate victory over Stade Francais.
After a 30-29 victory at Adams Park in the first leg, Wasps travelled to the Stade Jean-Bouin to claim a 20-6 victory, with Tom Varndell and Guy Thompson crossing the whitewash.
Wasps took the lead inside 10 minutes as winger Varndell touched down after a storming midfield break from flanker James Haskell.
France fly-half Jules Plisson chipped away at the Wasps' lead with two penalties, but Andy Goode restored a four-point lead for the Londoners on the cusp of half time.
Wasps then took advantage of Stade being reduced to 14 men with Thompson dotting down and Goode converting as they established an 11-point lead on the hour.
Goode added a second penalty four minutes from time as Wasps claimed their place in the Champions Cup.
Wasps started Guy Thompson at number eight in the French capital after Nathan Hughes returned to Fiji for his wedding, which was booked before he joined the London club last year.
After the creation of the seventh-placed play-off, he postponed returning to the Pacific island so he could join the squad in the first-leg against Stade, when Andy Goode's match-winning penalty in the final act at Adams Park saw Wasps draw first blood.
Goode was again on the scoresheet within minutes of the return leg, converting after their early intent was rewarded as Varndell crossed the whitewash for the first score of the game.
The fly-half failed with a penalty attempt soon after, allowing Jules Plisson to knock over a three-pointer after Wasps were penalised.
It began a period in which Stade kicked on, although they were fortunate not to fall further behind to another try.
Varndell intercepted and played out wide for Simpson to run the length of the pitch before going to ground under the posts.
However, a high tackle from Thompson saw the try chalked off after referring to the television match official, whose guidance saw Haskell and Alesandre Flanquart sent to the sin bin for their reaction in the deadball area.
It saw the play swing in Stade's favour, with Plisson knocking over for three points moments later to reduce the deficit to 7-6 behind rather than 14-3.
Goode floated over an effortless penalty on the Stade 22 as half-time approached and, thanks to some fine defending, the Premiership club boasted a five-point aggregate lead at the break.
Wasps, much improved from last week, were frustrating the hosts, with that emotion epitomised in the 54th minute as Burban was given a yellow for a late hit on Goode.
There was controversy as a lack of replays saw alleged eye-gouging against Stade waved away, with the host broadcaster quickly dragging up video of a knock-on in the build-up to Varndell scooting under the sticks shortly after.
That try was scratched off but Wasps soon deservedly pulled further ahead as Haskell offloaded to Ashley Johnson, who returned favour for Thompson to dive over the line.
Goode added the extras and Stade's miserable afternoon continued as Van Vuuren was sent to the sin bin as they were again reduced to 14 men, with the fly-half sending over the penalty.
European Champions Cup play-off
Wasps coach Dai Young was a proud man after seeing his team qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup in Paris.
Wasps take a single point advantage into the second leg of their European Champions Cup play-off against Stade Francais.
London Wasps have named their squad to face Stade Francais at Adams Park on Sunday in the first leg of their play-off.