Tue, May 20, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Wasps beat Bath to set up showdown final with Leicester

AFP , LONDON

Lawrence Dallaglio will have one last moment in the spotlight after Wasps beat Bath 21-10 to set up a Premiership final showdown with Leicester.

Dallaglio will retire at the end of the season and he has the chance to bow out in a blaze of glory at Twickenham on May 31 against reigning champions Leicester, who won 26-25 at Gloucester.

But the Wasps captain’s day was overshadowed by the ankle injury suffered by Danny Cipriani, which left the fly-half almost certain to miss both the final and England’s tour of New Zealand.

Cipriani was taken to a London hospital for tests and an announcement on his situation was expected later yesterday.

Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan said: “We don’t know anything yet about Danny. We’ll have to see if it’s a break, dislocation or both. We think it’s the ankle. The only priority for Danny now is to be 100 percent fit again. He’s a talented player and his fitness should be all we’re thinking about. We’ll make sure that happens. When he comes back and plays he’ll be 100 percent. This club does that for its players.”

Wasps were on the back foot for most of the opening period as the early pressure came from the visitors, with the hosts responding by giving away a succession of penalties.

But, aside from an Alex Crockett try, Bath failed to make to their superior possession tell. Wasps then came back into the match with tries from Fraser Waters and Riki Flutey giving them a 14-7 lead at halftime.

Another touchdown from Tom Palmer followed in the second period and, with Bath now needing two tries, not even the sin-binning of Waters with 10 minutes remaining could prevent Wasps from sealing their recent fine run of form with a Twickenham appearance.

In Sunday’s other clash, Leicester reached their fourth successive final after recording a stunning victory against Gloucester.

Fly-half Andy Goode’s injury time drop-goal clinched a dramatic success after full-back Willie Walker had inched the home side ahead at Kingsholm.

Gloucester, despite topping the regular 22-game Premiership season for a third time in six seasons, once again blew it as Leicester became the first side in the six-year history of the playoffs to record an away victory.

Fly-half Ryan Lamb had looked to have inspired Gloucester to the brink of victory.

Lamb kicked 17 points, while Leicester were reduced to 13 men in the first half after No. 8 Jordan Crane and scrum-half Harry Ellis were sin-binned in quick succession.

But second half tries from wing Alesana Tuilagi and center Aaron Mauger ensured the visitors made it an uncomfortable afternoon for the home side.

This story has been viewed 1638 times.
TOP top