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Barbeary strikes late to tip a see-saw match in favour of Wasps

By PA
(Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Alfie Barbeary’s late try helped Wasps secure a dramatic 34-30 victory over Edinburgh in a rip-roaring Challenge Cup quarter-final tie at the DAM Health Stadium. The match swung both ways throughout and it looked like the hosts – who had led at the break  – were about to shade it when they got their noses back in front in the 73rd minute.

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But two minutes later, the Gallagher Premiership side produced the decisive moment of a pulsating encounter as Barbeary forced his way over for the seventh try of the afternoon. Wasps will face the winners of Saturday evening’s last-eight tie between Lyon and Glasgow in next weekend’s semi-final.

Wasps got the first points on the scoreboard after seven minutes when Jimmy Gopperth kicked a penalty from a central position, but Edinburgh responded with a successfully-executed penalty of their own two minutes later when Emiliano Boffelli kicked between the posts.

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The hosts soon seized the initiative when Ben Vellacott touched down for the game’s first try at the end of a move down the right channel sparked by Luke Crosbie and involving Adam McBurney and Boffelli, who made the conversion.

Wasps drew level again after 16 minutes when Gopperth eventually forced his way over next to the posts after Edinburgh initially looked to have repelled a sustained period of pressure close to the line. The try scorer duly kicked the conversion.

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The fast-paced, end-to-end nature of the game continued and McBurney restored Edinburgh’s lead in the 25th minute when he was at the end of a rolling maul after Jamie Hodgson got up to secure a good lineout ball for the hosts. Boffelli was again on target with his conversion.

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Wasps enjoyed some intense pressure in the lead-up to half-time but the home side dug deep to ensure they went in at the interval holding a 17-10 advantage. Edinburgh looked to have tightened their grip on proceedings when Boffelli kicked a penalty just two minutes after the restart. But the visitors came right back into it after 44 minutes when Biyi Alo powered his way over the line for his side’s second try of the match, with Gopperth adding the conversion.

Wasps then evened the scores up again at 20-20 when Gopperth clipped a penalty between the sticks in the 49th minute. The Coventry-based outfit got themselves in front in the 57th minute as Tom West pushed his way over following more pressure around the Edinburgh posts. Gopperth did the honours once more with the conversion.

Just as Edinburgh looked to be reeling, however, they got themselves back into it when Magnus Bradbury raced in under the posts after being fed by Chris Dean following a lineout in the 66th minute. Boffelli chipped the conversion over from close range. The hosts edged themselves back in front in the 73rd minute when Boffelli kicked a penalty from the 40-metre line.

Edinburgh’s bid to cling on was dealt a blow when Connor Boyle was sin-binned with five minutes remaining and they were made to pay when Barbeary immediately forced over after Wasps won a lineout close to the try line. Gopperth converted and the visitors duly withstood some intense late pressure to seal their place in the last four.

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