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Wasps will need to halt Lyon’s six-match winning streak in the EPCR Challenge Cup this season in the clubs’ first ever meeting in Europe if they are to progress to their second final in the competition on Saturday.
Lyon are the only team in the competition to have won all their games in it this season, while Wasps, the 2003 winners, dropped down into it at the Round of 16 stage from the Heineken Champions Cup
The game at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland, which kicks off at 12:30 (UK & Irish time), will be broadcast live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.
Lyon: 1st, Pool B
Wasps: Demoted from Heineken Champions Cup
Lyon 35 Glasgow Warriors 27
Edinburgh Rugby 30 Wasps 34
Leading 2021/22 points-scorers
Lyon: Leo Berdeu (46)
Wasps: Jimmy Gopperth (33)
Patrick Sobela (Lyon captain): “If we want to beat Wasps, who are accustomed to big European games, we must be more aware of our potential and push our limits a little more.”
Lee Blackett (Wasps head coach): “Lyon are in form and are a big collision team who score tries in broken field. If we made this game an individual game and it came down to individual moments, they have people who can really hurt you.”
Just one step from the Final
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) May 10, 2022
Other key stats
- Lyon will be the 17th different TOP 14 opponent that Wasps will have met across the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
- Lyon have reached the semi-final stage for the first time in Europe. Meanwhile, Wasps will be playing their seventh semi-final, having reached this stage three times before in both the Heineken Champions Cup (W2, L1) and Challenge Cup (W1,L2).
- Wasps won the Challenge Cup in 2002/03. However, they lost their two subsequent semi-finals in the competition – to Cardiff Rugby in 2009/10 and Bath Rugby in 2013/14.
- Wasps have won five of their last seven European matches against TOP 14 opposition (L2), including wins against Toulouse (Heineken Champions Cup) and Biarritz (Challenge Cup) already this season.
- Lyon have a 100% win rate against Premiership opponents at home in the Challenge Cup, winning all six such matches, including victories against Gloucester Rugby and Worcester Warriors this season.
- Wasps have won 29/30 lineouts on their own throw in the Challenge Cup this season, giving them the second-best success rate (97%) of any side who have played more than one game. Meanwhile, only Benetton (20) have misplaced more throws than Lyon (16), leaving their accuracy rate at 81%.
- Lyon duo Clement Laporte and Ethan Dumortier have both made six line breaks in the Challenge Cup this season, more than anyone else in the competition.
- Teammate Davit Niniashvili (11) tops the charts for offloads, ahead of Laporte (7) and Lyon prop Demba Bamba (6).
- Wasps’ Alfie Barbeary has scored four tries in just two matches in the Challenge Cup this season. Only Gloucester’s Santiago Socino (5) has scored more. Barbeary also beat seven defenders in the quarter-finals last weekend.
- No one has made more breakdown steals than Lyon pair Colby Fainga’a and Patrick Sobela this season in the Challenge Cup, both notching six so far, the same as Biarritz’s Steffon Armitage.
Match Centre - Preview - Lineups
Lyon reached a first European final in their history after beating Wasps 20-18 at Matmut Stadium de Gerland in the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
Leo Berdeu scored one of the tries of the EPCR Challenge Cup 2021/22 campaign on his way to recording 15 points, with replacement Yanis Charcosset also crossing for the hosts.
Dan Robson and Jimmy Gopperth went over for Wasps, with 38-year-old Gopperth kicking an additional eight points for Lee Blackett’s men.
Following a scrappy start to the game, Wasps’ Robson broke the deadlock in the 24th minute after finding a gap in the Lyon defensive line to dive over for his second EPCR Challenge Cup try of the season.
Berdeu got Lyon’s first points of the game as the 23-year-old slotted a three-pointer, but Wasps quickly restored their five-point lead going into the interval as Gopperth kicked a penalty of his own.
The hosts would take the lead after the break, as Berdeu started and finished off a wonderful team try that began near Lyon’s 22, before going on to improve his own score.
However, another Gopperth penalty meant Lyon’s lead was short-lived as Wasps took a one-point advantage.
The score would then go back in Lyon’s favour, as a successful turnover led to Charcosset bundling over following a period of relentless pressure from the hosts, with Berdeu going on to add the extras.
Lyon then opened up a nine-point lead as Berdeu slotted another penalty for the TOP 14 side.
Dan Frost thought he had reduced the deficit when the replacement made a break to dive over under the posts, only for his try to be cancelled by the TMO due to a knock on from Francois Hougaard.
However, Wasps would score again through Gopperth following a smart lineout move, with the New Zealander’s conversion cutting the deficit to two with five minutes to go.
Despite Wasps’ best efforts, Lyon were able to hold on to their lead and secure their spot in the EPCR Challenge Cup final, where they will face the winner of RC Toulon against Saracens at Stade Velódrome on May 29.