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Something has to give in Saturday’s EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final at DAM Health Stadium, the seventh meeting between Edinburgh Rugby and Wasps in European competition.
It’s level pegging at present, with each side having chalked up three wins in their previous six encounters, although Edinburgh have won the last two meetings between the two clubs (31-20 and 9-7 in 2019/20).
The game kicks off at 12:30 in front of the BT Sport and beIN SPORT cameras.
Other key stats:
- Edinburgh have won their last six matches at home against Premiership opposition in the Challenge Cup, recording an average winning margin of 13 points over that period and scoring more than 30 points in each of their last four such fixtures.
- This will be Edinburgh’s fifth appearance in the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup. They have lost their last three fixtures at this stage of the tournament, with two of those defeats coming at home (22-32 v Stade Rochelais in 2016/17 and 6-20 v Cardiff Rugby in 2017/18).
- Wasps have lost their last three games against Scottish opposition in Europe, having won their previous four in a row. They have only managed to score over 10 points in a game once during that run.
- Wasps have won four of their previous seven quarter-final ties in the Challenge Cup, including their most recent (36-24 v Gloucester Rugby in 2013/14). They have scored an average of 30 points per game in their previous quarter-final fixtures.
- Edinburgh have completed the most tackles of any side in this season’s Challenge Cup (676). Their 89% tackle success rate is also the second-best percentage of any side in the competition.
- Wasps have recorded a 100% lineout success rate in the Challenge Cup this season, winning each of their 14 throws in their Round of 16 fixture against Biarritz.
- No player has completed more tackles in this season’s Challenge Cup than Edinburgh trio Pierre Schoeman (48), Marshall Sykes (48) and Grant Gilchrist (62). Additionally, no player has completed as many dominant tackles in this season’s competition as Hamish Watson (5).
- Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist has hit 90 attacking rucks in the Challenge Cup this season, more than any other player, while teammate Marshall Sykes has hit the joint third most attacking rucks (77).
- Wasps’ Alfie Barbeary scored a hat-trick of tries in his side’s Round of 16 triumph against Biarritz Olympique. No other player scored as many in the last round. He also beat the most defenders of any forward in the Round of 16 (8).
At the double 👊
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) May 5, 2022
Mike Blair (Edinburgh head coach): “It is a great opportunity for us to get back on the horse. I thought we played some really good stuff at the weekend without scoring the points – but we all know that scoring the points is the most important bit, so we’ve got some work to do in and around there.”
Joe Launchbury (Wasps lock): “This weekend will be a huge challenge. We’re playing against a high-quality side, full of international players. If we feel sorry for ourselves, it’s going to be a tough afternoon in Edinburgh.”
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Wasps reached the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals after coming out on top of an enthralling tussle with Edinburgh Rugby at DAM Health Stadium on Saturday.
The Gallagher Premiership side, who will play the winner of Lyon against Glasgow Warriors in the last four, triumphed 34-30 thanks to tries from Jimmy Gopperth – who also kicked 14 points – Bi Alo, Tom West and Alfie Barbeary.
Edinburgh led on several occasions and got over through Ben Vellacott, Adam McBurney and Magnus Bradbury, with Emiliano Boffelli tallying 15 points.
Wasps took the lead on seven minutes through a penalty from fly-half Gopperth, but Edinburgh were quickly level as wing Boffelli also slotted from the tee.
That offloading from @EdinburghRugby 😍
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) May 7, 2022
And the hosts would notch the game’s first try on 13 minutes as a series of audacious offloads went to hand and scrum-half Vellacott finished in the corner.
But Wasps found an instant response as Gopperth picked his way over the whitewash from close range with some neat footwork.
Edinburgh were next to get over as the momentum swung back in their favour, hooker McBurney planting down at the back of a trundling maul on 25 minutes after enterprising work from captain Grant Gilchrist to earn a penalty.
You don't stop @ABarbeary from that sort of range! 😤
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 7, 2022
Some robust defence before the break saw Edinburgh take a seven-point lead into the second half, which was extended when Boffelli knocked over another penalty on 42 minutes.
Once again, Wasps responded immediately as prop Alo crashed over following a quickly taken penalty, and a second Gopperth penalty of the game levelled the scores at 20-20.
They then hit the front on 57 minutes as their other prop West squeezed over from close range, but Edinburgh restored parity 10 minutes later as No.8 Bradbury muscled his way under the posts.
Boffelli’s third penalty of the game nudged the hosts in front with seven minutes to play, but they were unable to hold on as flanker Conor Boyle was yellow carded amid a Wasps assault, No.8 Barbeary then driving over for what proved the decisive score for the visitors.