Lyon 20-18 Wasps: French side book European Challenge Cup place; first major final for 89 years
Leo Berdeu and Yanis Charcosset score tries, while Berdeu adds two penalties and two conversions as Lyon see off Wasps in European Challenge Cup semi-finals; Dan Robson and Jimmy Gopperth scored tries for Wasps, while Gopperth kicked two penalties and a conversion
Last Updated: 15/05/22 1:07pm
Wasps bowed out of the European Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage as they were beaten 20-18 by a powerful Lyon side at the Matmut Stadium.
Lyon will face Toulon in an all-French affair at Marseille's Stade Velodrome in what will be their first final in any competition since 1933.
Leo Berdeu contributed 15 points for Lyon, including a try, while Yanis Charcosset also touched down.
Wasps scored two tries of their own courtesy of Dan Robson and Jimmy Gopperth, who also kicked eight points.
This semi-final may have been played in 30-degree heat, but it did not stop either side from playing the game at a high pace.
Lyon gave Wasps a warning within the first five minutes with a counter-attack that went from one 22 to the other.
Wasps held out on that occasion and had the better of the first half, with their set-piece earning them field position.
It took 24 minutes for either side to get on the scoreboard.
A tremendous 50/22 from Jacob Umaga gave Wasps an attacking line-out just five metres out from the Lyon try line.
With Lyon's forwards tied into the maul, Robson succeeded in sneaking over from short range.
Lyon finally turned pressure into points in the 35th minute with a successful penalty from 40 metres out on an angle from Berdeu.
Wasps took an 8-3 lead into half-time after Gopperth knocked over three points from the kicking tee.
The visitors flew out the traps at the start of the second half, with Tom Willis hitting a tremendous angle to charge into the Lyon 22. They lay siege to the Lyon line, but the hosts' defence remained intact.
Lyon hit back with arguably the best try scored in this season's Challenge Cup. Former New Zealand centre Charlie Ngatai raced clear from deep inside his own half, with the ball spread wide to both Baptiste Couilloud and Toby Arnold, who was brought down just outside the Wasps 22.
With the Wasps defence at sixes and sevens, Guillaume Marchand's pass put Berdeu over for a stunning score.
Berdeu converted his own try to push Lyon ahead, but Wasps regained the lead from Gopperth's boot four minutes later.
However, Lyon's pack had the bit between their teeth, with their forwards getting over the gain line with ease.
Former Saracens lock Joel Kpoku charged towards the line, with replacement hooker Charcosset eventually powering his way over from short range.
After missing two penalties, Berdeu then made it a two-score game with a successful penalty.
Wasps desperately tried to force their way back into the game and Dan Frost had a try disallowed after the television match official spotted Francois Hougaard knocking the ball forward in the lead-up.
But the visitors set up a grandstand finish when Gopperth scored courtesy of a well-worked driving line-out.
The New Zealander kicked the conversion to make it 20-18 with four minutes remaining, but it was a case of too little too late for Wasps.
Toulon 25-16 Saracens
English representation in this season's European Challenge Cup came to an end after Saracens were beaten 25-16 by Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol.
Following on from Wasps' defeat earlier in the day, Toulon will play Lyon in an all-French final at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
A brace of tries from France Six Nations grand slam wing Gabin Villiere, along with a stunning individual effort from Jiuta Wainiqolo, got Toulon over the line while player of the match Louis Carbonel also kicked 10 points.
Ben Earl scored Saracens' only try, with Owen Farrell contributing 11 points from the kicking tee.