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Simpson: Home advantage can pull Wasps through

Few teams are on as much of a roll as Wasps in Europe and Joe Simpson insists the Ricoh Arena is in for its first cup thriller of many when Leinster visit on Saturday.

It is remarkable to think that despite losing their first two European Rugby Champions Cup games this season, Wasps can decide their own destiny this weekend.

Tight losses to Harlequins and Leinster opened their campaign before they put Castres to the sword both home and away – running up a total of 11 tries on the French side.

Then Wasps rocked up to the Stoop and brushed aside Quins in a 20-minute blitz, while some manful defending ensured they only conceded three points.

Now the maths is simple – beat Leinster at home and qualification to the knockouts is secured – and Simpson is convinced the Ricoh will act as the wind behind their backs after rising to the occasion in Aviva Premiership Rugby so far.

“Quins really threw everything at us and we dealt with it, we knew what they were going to bring but we managed to neutralise it this time in ways we maybe haven’t done in the past,” said Simpson, who with Christian Wade was a try-scorer at the Stoop.

“They were coming off a good win the week before but when we’ve got finishers in our team like Wadey we should be scoring a lot of points in every single match.

“But that’ll all be forgotten if we don’t get a result this weekend – we need another big performance. Quins attack in a different way to most teams, they get a lot of offloads out and the areas they like to attack usually find a bit of joy against us.

“Leinster are going to be a completely different proposition, they can run over you at will if you’re not careful. But luckily enough we are at home and hopefully going into a full house.

“The fans have turned up in their droves in the first two games but this is going to be different as they’ve not seen European rugby here yet. It’s knock-out rugby, this is the type of match you play rugby for and it’s enough to whet everyone’s appetite. They’re going to be huge for us.”

Much of the reason for Wasps’ European revival is down to bonus points, notching four in their first four games to leave them two points off Leinster and top spot.

The scrum-half added: “The bonus points have been key, the two performances against Castres we took away the full five and though losing the first two matches is disappointing, we were not trounced.

“The best thing is that it’s in our hands, we not relying on a couple of results here or there. Last time we let Leinster back into the match but our defence has been good recently, we need to man up and get it done.”

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