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Page last updated at 22:34 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 23:34 UK

Newcastle 13-32 Wasps

Newcastle (13) 13
Tries: May, Phillips Pens: May

Wasps (15) 32
Tries: Haskell, Rees, Sackey, Lewsey Cons: Cipriani 3 Pens: Cipriani 2

Danny Cipriani was at the centre of things for Wasps
Cipriani was at the centre of things for Wasps

Wasps kept alive their hopes of home advantage in the play-off semi-finals with victory at Newcastle.

England fly-half Danny Cipriani kicked five goals from six attempts and Paul Sackey scored an 80-metre try to help Wasps move into third place.

Josh Lewsey secured a late bonus point when he scored their fourth try in the closing minutes of the game.

Tom May and Ollie Phillips scored tries for Newcastle but the Falcons failed to trouble the scorers in the second half.

The win was the fifth away victory in a row for Ian McGeechan's side and took them above Sale and Harlequins in the table.

A win at relegated Leeds in Saturday's final game could secure a second-placed finish.

They managed it without the rested trio of Lawrence Dallaglio, Raphael Ibanez and Tom Voyce against a Newcastle side that made nine changes to the side that beat Leicester.

The 10,200 capacity crowd were denied one last chance to see Matthew Tait, Toby Flood and Ben Woods, who are all leaving Kingston Park after Saturday's final game at Worcester.

Wasps, whose eight-match winning run was ended by leaders Gloucester on Sunday, controlled a scrappy encounter.


May gave the Falcons an early lead with a penalty but Wasps responded with flankers James Haskell and Tom Rees being driven over from close range.

May finished off a move started after a jinking run by Rob Miller, an 18-year-old fly-half introduced for only his third appearance.

Phillips then collected a kick from Steve Jones after number eight Russell Winter had seized on a couple of handling errors by the visitors.

May and Miller missed both conversions and Cipriani kicked a penalty and a conversion to nudge his side 15-13 ahead at the break.

Cipriani was involved in a sweeping move that allowed Sackey to finish off a brilliant move and the fly-half's touchline conversion opened up a 22-13 lead that ended Newcastle's hopes of pulling off a shock.

Wasps grabbed the all-important fourth try when Lewsey sliced through a tired Newcastle defence and Cipriani kicked his fifth goal.

It was a third win of the season over the Falcons, but their first at Kingston Park for four years.

  • Newcastle's acting director of rugby Steve Bates

    "I thought it was a really encouraging performance against a good side. I'm very proud of the boys. I thought their inexperience and lack of composure really told at times.

    "We were struggling to keep up with the pace but I'm confident they will be better for the experience.

    "Wasps put out a very strong side. They were very physical and played with intensity at contact. They got assistance from certain quarters but that's the way it goes."

  • Wasps coach Shaun Edwards on Paul Sackey

    "I'm sticking my neck out but he's the best winger in Europe.

    "It's between him and Shane Williams. He's come on in leaps and bounds and turned all that potential into the real deal."

    Newcastle: A. Tait, Phillips, May, Visser, Rudd, Jones, Charlton, Ward, Thompson, Hayman, Parling, Sorenson, Dowson, B. Wilson, Winter.
    Replacements: Miller for A. Tait (13), Young for Charlton (59), D. Wilson for Ward (48), Beattie for Hayman (68), Perry for Sorenson (62), Brown for Dowson (53), Williamson for B. Wilson (48).

    Wasps: Flutey, Sackey, Waters, Waldouck, Lewsey, Cipriani, Reddan, Payne, Ward, Barnard, Skivington, Birkett, Haskell, Rees, Hart.
    Replacements: van Gisbergen for Waters (41), Staunton for Cipriani (76), Buckland for Ward (59), French for Barnard (51), Shaw for Skivington (59), Worsley for Hart (68).

    Not Used: McMillan.

    Att: 10,200

    Referee: Rob Debney (Leicestershire).

    see also
    Cipriani handed double nomination
    07 May 08 |  London Wasps
    Falcons back on track, says Bates
    06 May 08 |  Newcastle
    Newcastle 28-25 Leicester
    04 May 08 |  English
    Wasps 17-25 Gloucester
    04 May 08 |  English

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