Wasps gain home advantage
Wasps' strong Guinness Premiership run-in has given them a home play-off tie, Lawrence Dallaglio's side scoring a 45-28 win at Leeds.
Last Updated: 10/05/08 10:42pm
Wasps' strong Guinness Premiership run-in has resulted in a home tie for the play-offs after they scored a 45-28 bonus-point win against Leeds.
The outgoing European champions scored six tries in a rampant display as Fraser Waters, Raphael Ibanez, replacement Joe Ward and a treble from England wing Tom Voyce sealed the points.
With Bath losing against Gloucester, Wasps will now play the former in their play-off - Lawrence Dallaglio remaining on course to finish his illustrious career with a Premiership winner's medal.
Wasps ended their regular-season campaign with nine wins from 10 league games and already-relegated Leeds offered little in the way of resistance.
Nevertheless the visitors did not have it all their own way early on, with the home side opening the scoring after four minutes.
Alberto Di Bernardo kicked a penalty from the 22 directly in front of the posts.
Leeds continued to come forward and gained a second penalty after 10 minutes in an identical position, Di Bernardo doubling the lead.
Wasps were on the back foot early on, with the new half-back pairing Jeremy Staunton and Eoin Reddan failing to dominate.
And, following the home side's prolonged spell camped out on the tryline, Di Bernardo then made it three penalties from three attempts.
However, Wasps then struck back with a flowing move that saw Voyce break a tackle and manage - but only just - to ground the ball. Staunton's conversion made it 9-7.
The London side looked more fluent but it counted for nothing when Tom Biggs made a great interception before running in an 80-yard solo effort which was converted by Di Bernardo.
A penalty for Wasps on the half hour pegged the scores back to 16-10 and it was from here on in that the visitors really took control.
Wasps soon ran in a second try from Voyce on the overlap and a third through Waters, the outside centre cutting inside on the left and running in from 15 metres.
The subsequent conversion pushed the visitors into a 24-16 lead at the interval.
Wasps claimed the bonus point after 49 minutes, replacement scrum-half Mark McMillan making a surging run and great lay-off to Ibanez in front of the posts - the conversion by Staunton extending the lead.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure, with Dallaglio making a series of powerful drives deep into the heart of the Leeds defence.
However, the home side cut back the deficit soon afterwards thanks to a flowing move along the backline - replacement Jonny Hepworth going over in the corner after 59 minutes.
That cut back the deficit to 10 points but Wasps further extended their lead two minutes later with a converted try by replacement Ward, who went over from close range.
Leeds' resistance continued with a series of back row drives resulting in flanker Hendre Fourie going over from five metres to cut the deficit to within 10 points.
Voyce grabbed his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining, his darting run opening up the Carnegie defence for a simple touchdown - Staunton adding his sixth conversion.