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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Sunday, 20 April 2008 16:58 UK

Saracens 29-40 Wasps

Saracens (12) 29
Tries: Leonelli 3, Haughton De Kock Cons: Jackson 2

Wasps (35) 40
Tries: Ibanez, Voyce, Waldouck 2, Sackey, Reddan Cons: Cipriani 5

Dominic Waldouck in action at Vicarage Road on Sunday
Young centre Dominic Waldouck scored two tries for Wasps

Wasps surged into the Premiership play-off places as a first-half try-blitz set them on their way to their eighth league win in a row.

Francisco Leonelli scored twice for the hosts but Raphael Ibanez, Tom Voyce, Dominic Waldouck (2) and Paul Sackey tries gave Wasps a 35-12 interval lead.

Eoin Reddan added a sixth try before Sarries replied through Leonelli, Richard Haughton and Neil de Kock.

Wasps' England fly-half Daniel Cipriani chipped in with five conversions.

Wasps are now up to third in the table after this victory in a pulsating encounter in front of over 13,000 people at Vicarage Road.

Cipriani, the brightest prospect in English rugby, was pivotal in three of Wasps' five first-half tries in another remarkable display of his wide range of talent.

Saracens actually took the lead in the first minute when Haughton's deft pass set up Argentine Leonelli for the first of his hat-trick, but Wasps hit back with three quick tries.

Ibanez and Voyce both pounced on loose balls before Cipriani dummied his way past Sorrell and sent Waldouck racing over.

The gifted number 10 converted all three scores and set up Sackey for the fourth try with an inch-perfect cross-kick.

Leonelli grabbed his second just after the half-hour mark but Wasps hit back when Cipriani snaked outside Haughton before again sending Waldouck over.

Cipriani converted both scores and Wasps continued on their merry way after the break when Reddan dummied Paul Gustard to race over from 40m.

Leonelli completed his treble after 54 minutes before Haughton and De Kock also crossed for the hosts and, had Glen Jackson not missed three out of five conversions plus an early penalty, Wasps would have faced a nervier finale.


Saracens boss Alan Gaffney:
"The first 40 minutes were close to the most embarrassing 40 minutes I've been involved in.

"We had a heart-to-heart at half-time. The players realised they had to go out and do something in the second half and they fought a lot harder."

Wasps boss Ian McGeechan:
"It was a great position to get into by half-time and it was always going to tell a bit in the second half.

"All the time we've looked at fourth place to see how close we were and what we had to do to make sure we were around fourth coming into this last month of the season.

"With three games to go I think it'll go down to last weekend - it's in our hands and the players know that."


Saracens: Haughton; Leonelli, Sorrell, Powell, Ratuvou; Jackson, De Kock; Lloyd, Ongaro, Johnson, Vyvyan, Ryder, Gustard, Barrell, Skirving.
Replacements: Cairns, Visagie, Fullarton, Seymour, Rauluni, Ross, Penney.

Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Sackey, Waldouck, Flutey, Voyce; Cipriani, Reddan; Ibanez, Barnard, Shaw, Palmer, Worsley, Rees, Dallaglio, Ward.
Replacements: Holford, Lewsey, Payne, French, Skivington, Leo, McMillan, Hoadley, Haskell.

Referee: Dave Pearson (Newcastle)


see also
Dickens replaces Howard at Saints
15 Apr 08 |  Northampton
Gloucester 39-15 Saracens
12 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Vickery ruled out for eight weeks
16 Apr 08 |  London Wasps
Wasps 29-19 Sale
15 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union


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