Wasps European adventure comes to an end
The Aviva Premierships top two went up against each other in Reading's Madejski Stadium this afternoon, with Saracens progressing into their maiden European final.
Wasps have been a breath of fresh air in Europe this season with their adventurous style of rugby winning over many neutrals, and they started the game in the fashion they have all season, and reaping the rewards instantly.
1 min: TRY WASPSSSSSSS! Charles Piutau breaks the tackle, feeds Wade and he gives to Robson who races over! Length of the field! 5-0— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) April 23, 2016
Electric winger Christian Wade made a searing break down the right wing before the ball made its way to Dan Robson who got over for a try in the opening minute. From there however, it was all Saracens.
After a period of relentless pressure, Sarries finally got their reward when ex-Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth saw his kick blocked down by second-row Michael Rhodes who gathered the loose ball and galloped over the line.
Owen Farrell missed the conversion but tacked on a penalty before the break to give his side the initiative at the break, something they seized in the second half as Farrell kicked another three penalties to Gopperth's one that left Saracens 17-10 to the good.
English international Farrell also saw yellow in the second half for a dangerous shoulder charge on Dan Robson, which left the scrum-half unconscious on the ground and ending his involvement in the game.
Any hopes of a Wasps comeback were extinguished after Simon McIntyre was sent to the bin for a 'kick' to the head in the 68th minute, with some feeling he was lucky to escape further punishment.
Thoughts on kick to head decision?Personally thought that should have been red for McIntyre and yellow for itoje for cynical offence.— Ben Kay (@BenKay5) April 23, 2016
Unlike their counterparts, Saracens were ruthless in making the extra man count as they were awarded a penalty try to effectively kill the game off and seal victory just four minutes through a destructive rolling maul.
There was one last sting in the tail of Wasps though, with Ashley Johnson touching down to give the London side a glimmer of hope of forcing extra-time but it never came to fruition.