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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 21:36 UK

Wasps 17-25 Gloucester

Wasps (10) 17
Tries: Ibanez 2 Cons: Cipriani, Staunton Pens: Cipriani

Gloucester (15) 25
Tries: Simpson-Daniel, Tindall, Morgan Cons: Lamb 2 Pens: Lamb 2

Gareth Cooper and Marco Bortolami celebrate Gloucester's victory at Wasps
Cooper and Bortolami celebrate Gloucester's victory at Wasps

Gloucester went back to the top of the Premiership and moved within a point of a home play-off as they ended Wasps' run of eight league wins in a row.

Gloucester struck twice inside the first 10 minutes through James Simpson-Daniel and Mike Tindall.

Raphael Ibanez grabbed a converted try as Wasps made it 15-10 at the break.

But Gloucester extended their lead through Olly Morgan and although Ibanez completed his brace, a Lamb penalty denied Wasps a losing bonus point.

Gloucester will be guaranteed a home semi-final if Wasps fail to pick up maximum points in midweek against Newcastle.

With Sale winning at Harlequins, Wasps dropped out of the top four, but they have a game in hand over play-off rivals Harlequins and Leicester and their last two matches are trips to lowly Newcastle and relegated Leeds.

Gloucester may have been the last team to beat Wasps in the league, at Kingsholm on 26 January, but they had not won away to them for 18 years.

However, they launched an early assault and were 12-0 ahead after 10 minutes.

Wasps full-back Josh Lewsey spilled a high ball under pressure from Iain Balshaw and Simpson-Daniel scooped up the loose ball to open the scoring inside three minutes.


Tindall then cut a brilliant angle to beat Joe Worsley's attempted tackle and power over for the try, which Lamb converted.

Danny Cipriani missed two penalty attempts as Wasps struggled to find a foothold, but they finally got on the board through his third attempt.

Although Lamb added three more points for Gloucester, Wasps had their tails up and Ibanez scored after the hosts had kicked a penalty to the corner.

Gloucester opened the second half as they did the first, scoring an early try as Simpson-Daniel claimed a cross-kick from Lamb, beat Lewsey and slipped a deft pass to Morgan.

Wasps were out of sorts and there was no clearer indication of that than the sight of Cipriani and scrum-half Eoin Reddan being replaced after just 57 minutes.

Ibanez scored his second try after Wasps once again kicked a penalty into the corner and Staunton's conversion narrowed the gap to less than seven.

It set up a frantic finale as Wasps tried desperately to find an opening but Gloucester defended resolutely and Lamb then applied the metaphorical kick in the teeth with a late penalty to deny them the losing bonus point.

Gloucester rugby director Dean Ryan:
"It is important. We have a good record of finishing at the top. I want to try and maintain that next week but it is more important we get used to winning big games.

"Next week is an enormous game and whoever wins it will be at the top. We have double-banked Wasps in the league. They came into the game at Kingsholm on the back of five wins and we beat them. It shows we can compete at this level and we are in the play-offs.

"We have got to play in these type of games regularly and we will get better.

"We know we are a good side when we have the ball. But just because we won, it is not a guaranteed thing that we have matured.

"We have still got a lot of growing up to do. We still saw cracks today and on another day it might have been exploited."

Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio:
"We will make the play-offs, make no mistake about that. Games like this are a wake-up call for the sort of players we have in this squad."

Wasps: Lewsey; Sackey, Waters, Flutey, Voyce; Cipriani, Reddan; French, Ibanez, Payne, Shaw, Palmer, Worsley, Rees, Dallaglio.
Replacements: Ward, Holford, Skivington, Haskell, McMillan, van Gisbergen, Staunton.

Gloucester: Morgan; Balshaw, Tindall, Allen, Simpson-Daniel; Lamb, Lawson; Wood, Titterrell, Nieto, Bortolami, Brown, Strokosch, Qera, Narraway.
Replacements: Azam, Dickinson, W. James, Buxton, Delve, Cooper, Walker.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

see also
Wasps out to extinguish Volcano
02 May 08 |  London Wasps
'Ruthless' Wasps eye league title
02 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Saracens 29-40 Wasps
20 Apr 08 |  English
Paterson to return to Edinburgh
02 May 08 |  Edinburgh
Gloucester benefit from cup exit
29 Apr 08 |  Gloucester
Gloucester 39-16 Leeds
19 Apr 08 |  English

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