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Stade Francais 6 London Wasps 20

24 May 2014
Stade Francais 6 London Wasps 20

Tom Varndell ruled the show as London Wasps booked their place in next year’s European Rugby Champions Cup, beating Stade Francais 20-6 at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris for a 15-point aggregate win.

The winger scored the English side’s first try early in the game to extend their slender one-point advantage from their 30-29 first-leg victory at Adams Park last weekend.
Varndell had another try disallowed in the second half, but Guy Thompson and ten points from fly-half Andy Goode saw the two-time European champions take a comfortable win.
After a frenetic start, Varndell crossed the try line before the ten minute mark from a move started by a surging run from flanker James Haskell.
Goode found Andrea Masi with numbers to his left and the Italian offloaded to Varndell who went over unchallenged.
Before the half-hour Joe Simpson gave fans a feeling of déjà-vu by running half the length of the pitch to touchdown for what he thought was Wasps’ second try after a Varndell interception.
However referee Nigel Owens called play back for a high tackle by Thompson earlier in the move, but not before Pascal Pape could slide a knee into Simpson’s chest, for which he was shown a yellow card.
Pape was joined by Haskell in the sin bin, who retaliated on the Stade Francais number four after the incident.
Jules Plisson, meanwhile, quietly went about his kicking work, slotting through two penalties for Stade.
Goode extended Wasps’ lead with a penalty before halftime to send the Aviva Premiership side into the break 10-6 up, five points ahead of their opponents on aggregate.
Wasps came out in the second half willing to slow the pace down and hold on to their lead, frustrating Stade Francais, who let errors creep into their game.
Goode chose to kick to the posts from long range after a Stade infringement at the scrum, but his kick fell just short.
The Wasps fly-half was playing with a target on his chest, receiving several late hits from the French forwards, including one from Antoine Burban who was shown a yellow card.
The Londoners could not take initial advantage of their extra man, committing a penalty on the Stade five-metre line whilst in the ascendancy.
With the second half progressing Wasps had another try scratched off by the TMO, this time as Varndell scorched away under the posts.
But in the build-up Masi challenged his countryman Sergio Parisse for a high ball, with the Wasps full-back’s touch knocking the ball forward for Varndell to run on.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to get over the line again though, with number 8 Thompson finishing a move of textbook back row play involving Haskell and Ashley Johnson.
Goode made sure of his second conversion to take Wasps into a double-figure lead.
Indiscipline crept into Stade Francais’ game, with Owens penalising the home side’s scrum, adding a further ten metres to the punishment for Julien Dupuy’s protests.
Michael van Vuuren was sent to the bin in the 75th minute, committing a penalty which allowed Goode to extend the aggregate score to 15 points in the pouring rain.
With a man’s disadvantage Stade never looked like mounting a comeback to the deficit, struggling in the now wet conditions to control the ball and possession.
Keeping their discipline to the end, Wasps saw out the final minutes of the game, with not even an 80th minute scuffle ruffling the pack’s feathers.

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