Leinster secured themselves a home quarter-final against Ulster in the Champions Cup after they eased past Wasps, winning 37-19 on Sunday. 

Tries from centre Garry Ringrose, hooker Sean Cronin (2) and replacement Noel Reid saw them to victory as they beat Toulouse to top spot.

Wasps’ try-scorers were number eight Nathan Hughes, scrum-half Dan Robson and replacement Marcus Watson as their European campaign ended.

Leinster knew what was required to finish ahead of Toulouse and thus seal a home game in March and they went about their task admirably. They dominated from the outset and led 20-0 at the break as Wasps looked distinctly second best on home soil with the province running in two tries.

Ross Byrne got the scoreboard ticking with a penalty in the ninth minute before Leinster went for the jugular, with more pressure in Wasps’ 22 leading to Ringrose crossing after a nice step inside Hughes. With the simple extras the reigning champions moved into a 10-point lead.

Wasps were struggling for ball and when it eventually did come they lacked patience and a handling error ultimately cost them, with Byrne, who continues to start in the absence of Ireland international fly-half Jonathan Sexton, soon firing over his second penalty on 29 minutes.

Leinster weren’t done and their line-out drive then came to the fore as the free-scoring Cronin burrowed over to make it a 20-point advantage.

Wasps did begin the second 40 in impressive style and were unfortunate not to make a period of sustained pressure in the Leinster 22 count. Hughes managed to change that though on 53 minutes when he crashed over under the posts, after Michele Campagnaro’s carry.

Their joy was shortlived however as, following a Jake Cooper-Woolley offence at the ruck, Leinster went to the corner before Cronin got his brace.

Robson did respond with an opportunistic score around the fringe of a ruck 20 metres out, which made it 27-14, but Leinster once again hit back as replacement fly-half Reid crossed with 10 minutes remaining for a converted score that pushed Leo Cullen’s team into a 34-14 lead.

Watson would grab a late consolation try for Wasps but they finish bottom of this pool with a record of no wins and one draw from six games.

In the pool’s other game, Toulouse held on for a 20-17 victory over a brave Bath side, who were playing for little else but pride in France.

Joe Tekori and Antoine Dupont crossed in the first-half before Semesa Rokoduguni and Zach Mercer went over in the second for Bath as they launched a fightback. However, they could not complete the job as they finish third in the pool while Toulouse now face a trip to Racing 92.

The post Leinster seal top spot, Toulouse head to Racing 92 appeared first on Planet Rugby.


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