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Lyon sneak past Wasps to reach European Challenge Cup final

By Pa Sport Staff
Getty Images

Wasps bowed out of the European Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage as they were edged out 20-18 by a powerful Lyon side at the Matmut Stadium.

Lyon will face either Toulon or Saracens in Marseille in what will be their first final in any competition since 1933.

Leo Berdeu contributed 15 points for Lyon including a try, while Yanis Charcosset also touched down.

Wasps scored two tries of their own courtesy of Dan Robson and Jimmy Gopperth, who also kicked eight points.

This semi-final may have been played in 30-degree heat, but it did not stop either side from playing the game at a high pace.

Lyon gave Wasps a warning within the first five minutes with a counter-attack which went from one 22 to the other.

Wasps held out on that occasion and had the better of the first half with their set-piece earning them field position.

It took 24 minutes for either side to get on the scoreboard.

A tremendous 50/22 from Jacob Umaga gave Wasps an attacking line-out just five metres out from the Lyon try-line.

With Lyon’s forwards tied into the maul Robson succeeded in sneaking over from short range.

(Getty Images)

Lyon finally turned pressure into points in the 35th minute with a successful penalty from 40 metres out on an angle from Berdeu.

Wasps took an 8-3 lead into half-time with Gopperth knocking over three points from the kicking tee.

The visitors started the second half like a house on fire with Tom Willis hitting a tremendous angle to charge into the Lyon 22. They lay siege to the Lyon line, but the defence remained intact.

Lyon hit back with arguably the best try scored in this season’s Challenge Cup - although Henry Arundell’s length-of-the-pitch score for London Irish against Toulon a week ago would have something to say about that.

Former New Zealand centre Charlie Ngatai raced clear from deep inside his own half with the ball spread wide to both Baptiste Couilloud and Toby Arnold, who was brought down just outside the Wasps 22.

With the Wasps defence at sixes and sevens Guillaume Marchand’s pass put Berdeu over for a stunning try.

Berdeu converted his own try to push Lyon ahead, but Wasps regained the lead from Gopperth’s boot four minutes later.

But Lyon’s pack had the bit between their teeth with their forwards getting over the gainline with ease.

Lyon’s physicality helped them defeat Wasps in the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals (Getty Images)

Former Saracens lock Joel Kpoku charged towards the line, with replacement hooker Charcosset eventually powering his way over from short range.

After missing two penalties Berdeu made it a two-score game with a successful penalty.

Wasps desperately tried to force their way back into the game and Dan Frost had a try disallowed after the television match official spotted Francois Hougaard knocking the ball forward in the lead-up.

Wasps set up a grandstand finish when Gopperth scored courtesy of a well-worked driving lineout.

The New Zealander kicked the conversion to make it 20-18 with four minutes remaining but it was a case of too little too late for Wasps.

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Dive Deeper:
Lyon 20-18 Wasps: Leo Berdeu hits impressive 15-point haul to secure European Challenge Cup final
Lyon put on a powerful display to knock Wasps out of the European Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Berdeu’s boot ensures Lyon hold off Wasps to reach Challenge Cup final
For a while it seemed Wasps were heading for a European final for the first time in 15 years but…
Joel Kpoku likened to Itoje as he powers Lyon past Wasps and into European final
Lyon 20-18 Wasps: Former Saracens lock named man of the match as Wasps come up short in Challenge Cup semi-final
Rugby evening headlines as each Welsh region to have 'different purpose' and Leinster destroy Toulouse
Dragons chairman David Buttress has been giving his thoughts on the future of the game in Wales
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
England international reveals awful injuries after playing on 4G pitch in sweltering heat
Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson has sustained leg injuries after facing Lyon in the European Challenge Cup
Toulon 25-16 Saracens: English representation ends with Sarries sunk in Challenge Cup semi-final
Saracens were beaten 25-16 by Toulon as English representation in the European Challenge Cup ended on Saturday.
Get all your news in one place