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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 May, 2004, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Wasps 27-20 Toulouse
Wasps' Lawrence Dallaglio on a charge
Wasps 27
Try: Abbott, Van Gisbergen, Howley
Con: Van Gisbergen (3)
Pen: Van Gisbergen (2)
Toulouse 20
Try: Delaigue
Pen: Delaigue (2), Elissalde (3)
Wasps lifted the Heineken Cup after defeating French giants Toulouse 27-20, thanks to a last-gasp try from scrum-half Robert Howley.

With seconds to go Howley beat Clément Poitrenaud to the ball to seal the win after the teams were tied at 20-20.

Wasps led for much of the match, thanks to scores from Stuart Abbott and Mark van Gisbergen, who grabbed 17 points.

Toulouse fly-half Yann Delaigue finished with 14 points but Wasps held out to finish on top.

After a high octane opening, Wasps loose-head Tim Payne was penalised twice early on, allowing Delaigue to push his team into an early 6-0 lead.

The video referee's been kind to us again but Rob Howley deserved that
Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio
Van Gisbergen replied for the English giants, before Abbott finished off an impressive Wasps move, stepping inside Trevor Brennan to cross for the game's opening try.

Van Gisbergen - taking over the kicking duties from fly-half Alex King - slotted the extras, as well as a second penalty to hand his side a useful 13-6 lead.

With the temperature rising, however, Toulouse looked at home in the mid-afternoon sun.

But for two cruel bounces, the visitors would have gone ahead and it was no surprise when Delaigue brought his side back within two points, after a sustained attack on the Wasps line.

Wasps centre Stuart Abbott
Wasps centre Stuart Abbott touched over for the opening try
The Wycombe-based club were lucky to be ahead at the break but they deserved everything they got when Van Gisbergen dived over underneath the posts after King broke through a Brennan tackle on the 10-metre line.

The full-back converted his own try before Toulouse replaced Delaigue with international scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

The talented Michalak moved into the number 10 position but although Toulouse pushed further forward the Wasps defence continued to hold out.

Dallaglio finally received his marching orders for continued off-side and Elissalde immediately made his presence felt by slotting his first penalty of the afternoon.

With just six points separating the sides and 20 minutes left the game was set for a grandstand finish and it did not disappoint.

King hit the post with an attempted drop-goal, before Elissalde cooly reduced the deficit with two quick penalties.

With three minutes left there was nothing to separate the sides.

But then Howley chanced his arm with a short grubber and Poitrenaud hesitated in a moment of madness to allow the former Welsh number nine to touch down.

  • The result hands England an extra 2005 Heineken Cup place, with Gloucester automatically qualifying and Leicester and Sale moving through to the Zurich Wildcard final next weekend.

    Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Lewsey, Waters, Abbott, Voyce; A. King, Howley; Payne, Leota, Green, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Volley, Dallaglio.
    Replacements: Nwume, Lock, Gotting, Purdy, Richards, Denney, Erinle.

    Toulouse: Poitrenaud, Ntamack, Jauzion, Desbrosse, Heymans, Delaigue, Michalak, Labit, Bouilhou, Maka, Brennan, Pelous (capt), Poux, Servat, Collazo.
    Replacements: Bru, Fiorini, Millochlusky, Gerard, Maka, 21, Elissalde, Clerc.

    Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio
    "No one deserves it more than Rob Howley"

    Wasps scrum-half Rob Howley
    "You've got to give Toulouse a lot of credit"

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