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Match Report
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29 Apr 2001: London Wasps v Gloucester

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Match Report
London Wasps's Badge London Wasps 18
Gloucester's Badge Gloucester 6
Fixture Type: Premiership Venue: Home
Match Date: Sun 29 Apr 2001, Kick Off: 15:00

Wasps 18 Gloucester 6

Zurich Championship - Quarter-final

29 April, 2001. Loftus Road, KO 2pm

Wasps advanced to the last four of the Premiership play-offs but the loudest cheers after a disappointing contest were to be heard 300 miles away in Newcastle.

The upshot of a quartet of home wins this weekend is that Rob Andrew's youngsters will take their place in the Heineken Cup next season as Tetley's Bitter Cup winners.


It was about the only statistic worth noting at Loftus Road after an instantly forgettable contest which Gloucester initially looked capable of winning but ultimately failed because of a lack of incisiveness behind the scrum.


Wasps speedster Paul Sampson grabbed the crucial try just before the break. Kenny Logan tagged on a couple of penalties and the Scottish winger then raced in five minutes into stoppage time to give Wasps their win and a chance to play host to Bath next weekend for a place in the Twickenham final on May 13.


Gloucester knew only a victory could maintain their hopes of a Heineken Cup berth next year after their exit at the semi-final stage of this season's competition at the hands of Leicester last week.


They started with understandable urgency and an apparent desire to reduce the match to the kind of physical battle to which they are more suited.


With 199 points in their last four matches it was not in Wasps' interests to keep the game tight but they succumbed to Gloucester's desires and in the process contributed to a fractious opening period.


Two men - opposing props Darren Molloy and Olivier Azam - were eventually sin-binned by Steve Lander but it was only the referee's considerable patience which kept Will Green and Andy Hazell on the field for the duration of the half after a series of niggly skirmishes.


A pair of Simon Mannix penalties were all the west country side could muster from their early efforts and Wasps always seemed to have something to spare in defence.


But it was a different story in attack - at least in the early stages - and a combination of poor handling, basic errors and indiscipline cost them attacking momentum.


Kenny Logan missed a penalty - Mannix had failed with two earlier - but the Scottish winger did bludgeon his way down the middle to create the space which Sampson exploited for the opening try.


Either side of the interval the Wasps pack tried to barge their way over with absolutely no hint of success.


But at least Logan had found his kicking boots during the break to nose his team in front for the first time with a close-range penalty.


For the first time Wasps unearthed enough confidence to attack out wide but Sampson's half break, which should have provided Simon Shaw with a certain try, came to nothing when the big lock spilled the pass.


Alex King also bombed a golden drop-goal chance on the hour, so Lions duo Rob Henderson and Phil Greening entered the fray with some work to do to ensure victory.


At just two points down Gloucester still had a kicker's chance but their line was coming under increasing threat, Joe Worsley slipping as he tried to round Goodridge after another dash through the visitors' defence.


But with 16 minutes remaining Logan punished another infringement by the Gloucester pack.


And although Wasps were grateful to Lawrence Dallaglio for his last-ditch tackle on Hazell after the flanker had broken down the blind side, the home side fully deserved a success which was clinched by Logan with the last move of the match.


Zurich man of the match: Paul Sampson.

LONDON WASPS : 18

Tries: Sampson, Logan


Cons:Logan

Pens:Logan 2


GLOUCESTER: 6

Tries:


Cons:

Pens: Mannix 2


H-T: 5 - 6