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Wasps End On A High

Sunday 15th January 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 15/01/2006 13:59

- 15/01/2006 13:59

Former Heineken Cup winners London Wasps have had a tournament they will want to forget, and fond themselves at the bottom of Pool 6.

They face Edinburgh Gunners – the side they lost to in Round 1 – this weekend, with nothing but pride to play for.

Edinburgh have the tricky trip to the Causeway Stadium to try and secure their first away win of the competition and remain in second place in the Pool.

Edinburgh coach Todd Blackadder has made eight changes, including three positional, to the team that beat Llanelli Scarlets 33-32 in the Heineken Cup at Murrayfield last weekend.

Rob Dewey returns from injury to come onto the right wing in place of club captain Chris Paterson, while Francisco Leonelli moves from the left wing to outside centre for Marcus Di Rollo. Michael Pyke wins promotion from the bench to fill Leonelli’s berth on the wing.

Phil Godman has recovered from flu and returns at stand-off while Rory Lawson comes in at scrum-half. Alastair Kellock captains the side this week and moves from No 5 to four in the second row as Scott Murray returns to the starting line-up alongside. In the back row, Matt Mustchin switches from lock to the blindside of the scrum.

Blackadder said: “This game provides an opportunity to rest some of the players who have played consistently for the Gunners this season. We had examples last week where we rested players and that worked well for us – Andrew Kelly came in for Dougie Hall and had a great game.”

“We’ll go out there and take it to Wasps. We’ve got a lot of self belief and we want to finish the Heineken Cup on a high. It’s one of those games that gives an opportunity to try a few things.”

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Wasps End On A High

Sunday 15th January 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 15/01/2006 13:59

- 15/01/2006 13:59

The former Heineken Cup holders side ran in seven tries, but will still be dissspaointed with their return of fourteen points from thier six Pool matches.

Mark Van Gisbergen missed just one of his six shots on goal, landing two penalties and three conversions and he also finished a strong run down the left wing with Wasps third try two minutes into the second half.

But, on the debit side, it was Van Gisbergen’s kick straight into the hands of Edinburgh right-wing Rob Dewey and his wayward pass, intercepted by centre Francisco Leonelli, which provided Edinburgh with the two tries which kept them in contention in the first half.

Dewey broke the Wasps line before fly-half Phil Godman provided the kick for full-back Hugo Southwell to win the chase for the touchdown.

Then, after converted tries from Wasps fly-half Alex King and impressively mobile prop-forward Alistair McKenzie, who deservedly took the player of the match award, Dewey stretched over the line for Edinburgh’s second try.

But Godman missed both conversions and a straight forward looking first half penalty for the Scottish side.

The yellow card shown to flanker Matt Mustchin in first half injury time added to the Gunners’ problems and they were overrun in the second half.

Van Gisbergen grabbed his try while Mustchin was still in the sin-bin, and that was followed by tries from his fellow England squad members Simon Shaw and Voyce.

Giant second-row man Shaw forced his way over in the right hand corner in the 50th minute before Voyce, released by replacement centre Fraser Waters, with virtually his first touch of the ball, ran through the non-existent Edinburgh defence for Wasps’ fifth try, converted by King, who had taken over the kicking duties following Van Gisbergen’s departure.

Voyce struck again in the 74th minute when he finished off a high-speed move instigated by King and Waters with King again on target.

Scrum-half Rory Lawson grabbed a late consolation try, converted by replacement Duncan Hodge, for Edinburgh when he sprinted clear of the Wasps defence.

But the London side had the final say when they were awarded a penalty try in the fourth minute of injury time, following persistent Edinburgh infringement in front of their own posts, and King added his third conversion from three attempts.

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