Saturday May 14, 2022

10:20am, 14 May 2022

Lee Blackett insists Wasps’ wastefulness in the Lyon 22 cost them a place in what would have been their first European final since 2007.

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Wasps held a five-point half-time lead at the Matmut Stadium but were overpowered after the interval with Lyon running out 20-18 winners to reach the European Challenge Cup final.

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Wasps head coach Blackett believes this was a missed opportunity for his side.

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“We are pretty gutted about it,” said Blackett.

“We feel as if we controlled large parts of the game, and it came down to key moments. What would have won the game for us was better conversion rates within their 22.

“I thought we controlled field position but did not take our opportunities. We also did not win the aerial game so that would be the two things.

“We put so much into it, controlled large parts of the game, and unfortunately, we’ve fallen on the wrong side of key moments. When the game breaks up they (Lyon) are up there with the very best sides in Europe.

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“The players are pretty gutted. It’s going to be hard to get back up for next week, but we’ve got to make sure we don’t let this derail our season.”

Leo Berdeu contributed 15 points for Lyon including a try, while Yanis Charcosset also touched down to send the French club into their first final in any competition since 1933.

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

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Wasps held an 8-3 lead at half-time with Robson scoring the only try.

But Lyon’s pack went up a few gears in the second half with tries from Berdeu and Charcosset sealing the victory.

Gopperth did score a late try, but it was a case of too little too late for Wasps.

Former England Under-20s and Saracens lock Joel Kpoku was named player of the match, and he is confident Lyon can win their first European silverware in two weeks’ time when they face the winner of Toulon against Saracens in the final at Marseille.

“This is only the start and there’s much more to come from this group,” said the 22-year-old.

“We’ve been chasing this for a long time, and thankfully we were able to come out on top against a great Wasps side who really tested us from minute one to 80.

“I can’t wait until the final. It’s a great feeling.

“To finally be in a final is so surreal, but there’s one more game to come and hopefully we can get a win there as well.

“We knew what we needed to do, and it was about believing in ourselves, and keeping our discipline to stop them getting into the game.”

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