WASPS VS LEINSTER - The Rivalry - The Results
Wasps open their European Champions Cup campaign with a tough trip to Leinster’s RDS home on Saturday.
Dai Young’s team go head-to-head with the Irish superstars in Pool Five before three-time champions Toulon host Bath at the Stade Felix Mayol on Sunday.
The re-organisation of European club rugby’s premier competition two years ago was designed to increase the competitiveness of its pool stages, and these two fixtures demonstrate just how effective the new 20-club structure has become.
It is the first time in the competition’s 21-year history that four former winners have been drawn together, while Leinster and Toulon have shared the last five titles. Wasps have faced Leinster five times in Europe, and the record stands at two apiece, with one draw.
March 31, 2007 at Adams Park:
Wasps 35 Leinster 13
The two clubs’ only meeting in the knock-out stages was decided in the hosts’ favour by two tries from Irish scrum-half Eoin Reddan, and one apiece from James Haskell and Danny Cipriani.
Ian McGeechan’s Wasps went on to claim the trophy two months later when Reddan scored again in their a 25-9 win over Leicester. This was the most recent European Cup win by an English club, and Wasps’ second success. Alex King kicked 18 points for Wasps, who somewhat unusually took control of the match by scoring two tries during a first-half period when, first, Lawrence Dallaglio then Dom Waldouck were in the sin-bin.
Leinster were coached by recent Aussie World Cup boss Michael Cheika, while the match official was 2015 RWC final referee Nigel Owens.
October 18, 2008 at the RDS:
Leinster 41 Wasps 11
Two tries in the opening 15 minutes from legendary Ireland and British Lions’ skipper Brian O’Driscoll took Leinster to an emphatic win against a struggling Wasps side. Winger Luke Fitzgerald posted a third try early in the second half, after which there was no way back for the visitors.
Argentinian fly-half Felipe Contepomi piled on the misery with Leinster’s bonus-point try, which along with his four conversions and a penalty gave him a 16-point haul. Aussie Rocky Elsom and wing Rob Kearney also touched down for the hosts. Danny Cipriani kicked two Wasps penalties, while Jeremy Staunton claimed their solitary try.
January 17, 2009 at Adams Park:
Wasps 19 Leinster 12
French flanker Serge Betsen claimed the only try in a bruising encounter played in front of 33,000 fans at Twickenham. However, Felipe Contepomi’s fourth penalty earned Leinster a losing bonus point, which helped them top the Pool Two table on their way to eventually lifting the cup for a first time.
England’s 2003 World Cup-winning full-back Josh Lewsey was named man of the match in an encounter which saw 43 minutes played with uncontested scrums, following injuries to two Leinster props. Betsen was also one of three players to spend time in the sin-bin, in a match which subsequently earned Leinster lock Mal O’Kelly, who was then Ireland’s most-capped player, a two-week retrospective ban for stamping on Phil Vickery.
October 19, 2014 at the RDS:
Leinster 25 Wasps 20
Two tries from winger Darragh Fanning and 10 points from Ian Madigan’s boot saw Matt O’Connor’s team to a narrow victory. With the assistance of a gusty Dublin wind, the visitors built a 14-point half-time lead, but they were scoreless after the break.
Leinster’s much depleted team, who were missing big-name Irish internationals Sean O’Brien, Cian Healey and Rob Kearney, overcame a Wasps team who touched down twice before the break through Alapati Leiua and a scorching Christian Wade effort.
The losing bonus point earned here eventually proved critical to Wasps’ qualification, while Leinster topped the pool before subsequently losing to Toulon in the semi-final. Wasps leave the pitch after defeat to Leinster
January 24, 2015 at the Ricoh Arena:
Wasps 20 Leinster 20
In front of 23,000 fans in the first European Cup match played at their new home, Wasps overturned a 14-point second-half deficit to clinch the Pool Two draw which took them into the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Toulon.
Tries from Matt Mullan and Nathan Hughes, plus 10 points from kicker Andy Goode, kept their hopes alive after the visitors had dominated a first half during which the hosts’ Lorenzo Cittadini and Ashley Johnson were sin-binned. Winger Fergus McFadden and scrum-half Isaac Boss crossed for the visitors, who were unable to convert substantial possession and territorial advantage into a win when Ian Madigan missed four of his seven kicks at goal.
Wasps' Andy Goode sinks to his knees after his drop kick in the dying seconds goes wide.
Excited for the European Championship and want to learn more about the game? Check out James' Beginners Guide to Rugby Video below:
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