European Rugby Champions Cup: Wasps 26-7 Ulster

Willie Le Roux of Wasps
Wasps full-back Willie le Roux set up one try and scored another against Ulster in Coventry
European Champions Cup Pool One
Wasps (14) 26
Tries: Thompson, Cruse, Le Roux, Cooper-Woolley Cons: Cipriani 3
Ulster (7) 7
Try: Reidy Con: Cooney

Wasps secured a bonus-point win over Ulster in their final Champions Cup pool game, but both sides failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Ulster went into the game top of the pool yet needed a win to progress, but Wasps were utterly dominant in terrible conditions at the Ricoh Arena.

Wasps led two tries to one at half-time despite gifting Sean Reidy five points, and added two more after the break.

They were second in the pool - but not one of the three best runners-up.

Wasps' victory allowed Premiership rivals Saracens to progress to the quarter-finals as the third-best second-placed side.

Champions Cup Pool One
TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstPoints diffBonus PtsPoints
La Rochelle640215612135420

How did Wasps and Ulster fail to qualify?

Rory Best
Ulster had only been beaten by La Rochelle going into the game against Wasps

Ulster, who finished third in the group, won four of their six games but collected only one bonus point from the pool stage.

They began the day hopeful of qualifying for the knockout stage for the first time since 2014, but early injuries disrupted their gameplan and the Irish province failed to get a foothold in the match.

Wingers Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik both limped off, and the former's fitness will be a worry for Ireland with the Six Nations looming.

Wasps, meanwhile, will know last week's defeat by Harlequins - when they had a 16-point lead after 55 minutes but were beaten 33-28 - effectively put an end to their European campaign.

While director of rugby Dai Young will be pleased with his side's closing victory after two consecutive defeats, they will play no further part in Europe's top competition.

Champions Cup quarter-final line-up
Leinster v Saracens
Scarlets v La Rochelle
Munster v Toulon
Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92
Ties to be played between 29 March-1 April

Wasps entertain on soggy pitch

Jake Cooper-Woolley
Prop Cooper-Woolley rounded off a fine attacking performance by Wasps with the final try

Young's team dominated the breakdown for 80 minutes and continued to play attractive rugby despite the mud at the Ricoh.

After a string of penalties, the hosts scored their first try with a driving maul from the line-out as flanker Guy Thompson was driven over.

Stockdale then limped off after just 17 minutes, but Ulster were gifted a way back into the game when Wasps backs Willie le Roux and Christian Wade made individual errors, allowing Ludik to intercept the former England winger's pass and send Reidy in under the sticks.

Wasps took a 14-7 half-time lead after hooker Tom Cruse popped up on the left wing to collect Le Roux's beautiful chip-kick and, from that point on, the home side always looked like winning.

The third try came shortly after the break as Le Roux's pace carried him over in the corner following a dominant Wasps scrum.

Front-rower Jake Cooper-Woolley crossed from short range to secure the bonus point after just 55 minutes but it was not enough for Wasps.

Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, De Jongh, Eastmond, Watson; Cipriani, Robson; McIntyre, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley; Launchbury (capt), Gaskell; Willis, Thompson, Carr.

Replacements: Johnson, Harris, Moore, Myall, Young, Simpson, Miller, Macken.

Ulster: Piutau; Ludik, Cave, McCloskey, Stockdale; Lealiifano, Cooney; McCall, Best (capt), Ah You; O'Connor, Treadwell; Henderson, Reidy, Timoney.

Replacements: Herring, Warwick, Herbst, Rea, Henry, Shanahan, McPhillips, Lyttle.

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