After a slow start at their European campaign, with earlier defeats to Leinster and Harlequins, at which point the knockout stages looked like a dream, Wasps demonstrated on Saturday that their form picked up as they dominated Harlequins and defeated them 3-23 at Twickenham Stoop to set up a Pool 2 decider against Leinster next Saturday.
Harlequins started the game well and enjoyed territorial possession, but they could not break down a solid Wasps defence; Waspies captain James Haskell, who was the man of the match, was the key part of their impenetrable defence in the back row.
Wasps took their chances in the first half from poor passes by Quins, when Christian Wade raced and scored a try, which was followed by a try from Simpsons, whilst Andy Goode scored a penalty to make the half-time score 17- 0 to the visitors.
In the second half Goode quickly made the gap to 20 points, before Ben Botica added a penalty for Harlequins, thus scoring his sides only three points of the match; but two more penalties soon came for Wasps from Andy Goode and Elliott Daly, which meant that the hosts never got close to the visitors, who had an easy job. As the match went on, Wasps looked more and more relaxed.
Until they moved to Coventry, these two clubs, both originally from London, shared a local rivalry that stretched back to the 19th century.
Next for Wasps is Leinster, the Irish "Boys in Blue", who thrashed French outfit Castres 50-10 and are currently at the top of the table in Pool 2 with 18 points, two points ahead of Wasps. Harlequins are third with 13 points and the French Castres is at the bottom of the table with only one point. There are twenty teams playing in the pool stage of the Championship, which are arranged in five pools of four team.
Wasps will play Leinster at home at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, where they moved a month ago. Victory over Leinster at home would see Wasps becoming the first team to reach the knock-out stage of last eight teams of the Europe's Championship. The dream may be probable, as Wasps are the club that have been Champions of Europe twice in recent years. #Rugby