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Match Report – Wasps 19 – 37 Leinster

Last Updated: 20/01/19 9:03pm

Garry Ringrose scores the opening try for Leinster

Garry Ringrose scores the opening try for Leinster

Garry Ringrose scores the opening try for Leinster

Champions Cup holders Leinster marched on to a home quarter-final against Ulster as Pool One winners after a 37-19 victory to leave Wasps reflecting on a fifth European loss this season.

Eddie Jones watched from the Ricoh Arena stands as England lock Joe Launchbury went off after just nine minutes, while his Red Rose colleague Brad Shields did not even start.

Shields was ruled out by a side strain, and Launchbury – although he passed a head injury assessment – did not rejoin the action following a knock.

England’s Six Nations opener against Ireland in Dublin is just 13 days away, with Saracens revealing on Saturday their fly-half and England captain Owen Farrell had undergone thumb surgery that is set to sideline him for seven to 10 days.

Leinster progressed as third seeds behind Saracens and Racing 92 after first-half tries from centre Garry Ringrose and hooker Sean Cronin rewarded a dominant 40 minutes.

Fly-half Ross Byrne added kicked conversions and two penalties to effectively end the contest, but Leinster, who beat Wasps 52-3 three months ago, were not finished.

Cronin claimed a second touchdown, then Noel Reid added a bonus point-clinching try 10 minutes from time, with Byrne completing a hat-trick of conversions and Reid adding the extras to his score before booting a late penalty.

Wasps rallied from 20 points adrift to score second-half tries through No 8 Nathan Hughes, scrum-half Dan Robson and replacement wing Marcus Watson, with Lima Sopoaga kicking two conversions, but the damage had long been done.

Sean Cronin crosses for Leinster's third try and his second of the match Sean Cronin crosses for Leinster's third try and his second of the match

Sean Cronin crosses for Leinster’s third try and his second of the match

Wasps, already eliminated from the competition and resigned to finishing bottom of the group, saw England forward Hughes require treatment on his right ankle after just three minutes, but he carried on as Leinster pressed for an early score.

Things got worse when Wasps skipper Launchbury went down following a ninth-minute collision before departing for a head injury assessment which proved the end of his match, despite passing it.

In his absence Leinster moved ahead through Byrne before a fine approach by the forwards resulted in Ringrose weaving his way over from close range for a converted try.

Ringrose touches down for Leinster Ringrose touches down for Leinster

Ringrose touches down for Leinster

Wasps could not escape from their own half, and Leinster simply went through the basics with impressive efficiency to keep the pressure piled on a spirited – but limited – home side.

They added a second try five minutes before half-time when Cronin emerged with the ball from under a pile of bodies after Leinster’s forwards drove a close-range lineout, with another Byrne conversion taking Leinster 20 points clear by the interval.

Wasps at last gave their supporters something to cheer when Hughes crashed over for a 53rd-minute try that Sopoaga converted, but normal service was quickly resumed through a second Cronin try from another driving maul.

Robson then claimed an opportunist touchdown to put Wasps in double figures, yet Leinster regrouped and secured a five-point maximum when a slick move ended in Reid crossing near the posts.

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