Racing Metro inflict first defeat on high-flying Wasps
21 January 2010 22:31pm
London Wasps must face a nervous wait to find out if they will be top seeds in the Amlin Challenge Cup following a slender 19-17 defeat at Racing Metro.
Wing Tom Varndell struck in either half - as he did in the reverse fixture last weekend - while Danny Cipriani added seven points to leave the Guinness Premiership side on the verge of victory in Paris.
But a last-minute penalty from Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski steered the home side to a morale-boosting win.
The cruel defeat means the door is open for Irish province Connacht to finish as top seed with a victory at Olympus Rugby in Madrid on Saturday.
Racing took a third minute lead through Wisniewski's penalty but Wasps hit back instantly when in-form Varndell showed blistering pace to shrug off Mani Vakaloa for an opportunist score.
Cipriani converted and then added a penalty in the 12th minute for a healthy 10-3 advantage.
Cipriani missed two further presentable kicks before Wisniewski slotted home a long-range penalty at the end of an action-packed opening quarter.
Then the Racing fly-half showed a touch of class on 28 minutes to fire home a neat drop goal to reduce the deficit to just one point at the interval.
Dan Ward-Smith went close for the visitors but then the number eight was yellow-carded in the 55th minute for killing the ball.
Racing took control in the scrum and Welsh referee James Jones had no other option but to award a penalty try for the home side.
But Cipriani's long pass allowed Varndell to touch down for his second in the right corner before Racing claimed an unlikely victory through Wisniewski's last-gasp penalty.