Eurosport - Sun, 11 Apr 13:57:00 2010
Tom Varndell scored a hat-trick of tries as Wasps beat Gloucester 42-26 to book a spot in the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup.
Wasps ran in five tries on a sunny afternoon at Adams Park, with Super 14 bound fly-half Danny Cipriani producing a superb all-round performance from fly-half, having a hand in three tries and landing seven from eight kicks for a personal tally of 17 points.
Ben Jacobs and Serge Betsen also touched down for Wasps, while Adam Eustace and Charlie Sharples crossed for the visitors, who just about stayed in the game thanks to fly-half Nicky Robinson, who nailed four penalties and both conversions in a faultless kicking display.
Gloucester were the first on the scoreboard with a Robinson penalty in the fifth minute, but Wasps responded almost immediately when Jacobs ran a superb line to cross for the London club's opening try.
The two fly-halves swapped penalties before Cipriani danced through a couple of tackles and fed Betsen for a simple touch down to give Wasps a 17-6 lead.
Gloucester were in danger of being over-run but replied with the first of their two tries when centre Jonny May burst through several Wasps defenders - including Cipriani - to set up a position from which Eustace crashed over.
Wasps' next score had a touch of fortune about it when the video official ruled Varndell (pictured) had touched the ball down when crossing in the corner, but there was nothing lucky about Cipriani's superb touchline conversion that made the score 24-13. There was still time for a penalty for each side to make the score 27-16 at half-time.
The home side were first on the scoreboard after the break when Cipriani landed a long penalty, which was cancelled out by Robinson in the 54th minute. But in the 72nd minute the Wasps backs showed their class with the best try of the afternoon.
Joe Simpson fed Cipriani off a Wasps scrum, the fly-half produced a quick-fire pass to release his backs and further slick handling saw Jacobs put into space out wide on the right. The Australian had both his wings in support and opted to feed inside to Varndell for a cracking score.
Gloucester bounced back with a well-worked try for substitute Sharples, but a minute later Varndell completed his hat-trick when a burst of speed from Cipriani - who had moved to full-back to make way for Dave Walder - set up an overlap on the left wing which the former England international took with ease to round off a fine afternoon for Wasps.