Hanks proud after Wasps test champs

WASPS head coach Tony Hanks was proud of his players after the London club came close to pulling off a shock victory at the reigning Heineken Cup champions.

David Skrela booted all of the home side’s points with six penalties but Wasps almost claimed a famous triumph after David Lemi grabbed the only try of the game while fly-half Dave Walder missed a late minute penalty to win the match.

Hanks admitted: “We came here to win and didn’t just come here to make up the numbers. There was enough belief within our side and we prepared well. What we need to make sure of that people aren’t just talking about what we did today.”

Wasps were without England front-rowers Tim Payne and Phil Vickery through suspension and injury as well as Riki Flutey who remained at home to be at the impending birth of his third child.

But the Aviva Premiership outfit held their own for long spells before having the chance to steal victory through Walder’s penalty.

Toulouse’s Census Johnston conceded the 78th-minute penalty which nearly gave Wasps the perfect return to Europe’s premier competition after a one-year absence. He said: “This wasn’t the real Toulouse. The weather was a big factor as people expect us to throw the ball around all the time. It doesn’t work like that.”

Toulouse should have grabbed the first try of the match on 24 minutes only for Poitrenaud to drop the ball with the try-line at his mercy. Wasps refused to buckle and after a quick-tap by skipper Tom Rees, Walder calmed slotted home a fine drop goal to head into the interval all square at 9-9.

Guy Noves’ men were forced to wait until the hour mark to regain the lead when Skrela added his fourth penalty. He added a fifth to extend the hosts’ lead to six points before the game’s talking point.

Walder kicked through and after Poitrenaud hesitated, replacement Lemi kicked ahead twice before touching down. Referee George Clancy failed to award the spot the Samoan wing’s hand on the ball but, at the first stoppage in play, the official asked for the television match official who, after viewing a replay, gave the green light for the opening try of the match.

TOULOUSE: C Poitrenaud, V Clerc, F Fritz, Y Jauzion, C Heymans, D Skrela, B Kelleher; J B Poux, W Servat, C Johnston, G Lamboley, R Millo-Chluski, Y Nyanga, T Dustautoir, S Sowerby.

Replacements: M Medard for Heymans (60), D Human for Poux (65), V Lacombe for Servat (61), Y Maestri for Lamboley (51), L Picamoles for Nyanga (64).

WASPS: M van Gisbergen, R Haughton, B Jacobs, D Waldouck, T Varndell, D Walder, J Simpson, Z Taulafo, J Ward, B Broster, S Shaw, R Birkett, J Worsley, T Rees, A Powell.

Replacements: D Lemi for Haughton (57), N Berry for Simpson (68), R Webber for Ward (45), Hobson for Broster (45), J Cannon for Birkett (57), Ward-Smith for Worsley (79), C Beech for Hobson (78).

Referee: George Clancey (RFU).

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