Lima Sopoaga To Wasps All Black Will Be An Upgrade On Danny Cipriani... But Who Will New Zealand Turn To Next?

And yet, just as they looked dead and buried, Quins rolled back the stone, with James Lang at the heart of their revival with some scintillating running and handling.

Lang also showed his composure under pressure after he stepped out of trouble after Cipriani had kicked an intercepted pass into the open-field, eluding a tackle by Le Roux before the Quins fly-half managed to kick the ball into space. Chisholm gathered superbly and reached to the line for the try. The score settled Quins and finally they began to string together a number of potent phases, with Mike Brown, Care and Roberts leading the way. It was a dummy run by Roberts than created the opportunity for Lang to turn from creator to finisher, scoring under the posts from a well-executed move from a five-metre scrum.

For the game to truly become a contest again, Quins had to maintain the momentum and critically they could not regain it until Wasps had scored again, with Cipriani’s deft touch to Macken clinching the four-try bonus point in the 56th minute. 

Cipriani used both his eyes and his passing weight and direction to fool Jamie Roberts enough to allow Macken to hit a soft shoulder and score the try that could yet see Wasps reach the quarter-finals, 

Harlequins had no intention of making life easy for their Premiership opponents however, and following the introduction of 18 year-old Marcus Smith, in the week that he has just signed a long-term contract with the club, sparked another mini revival. 

Quins thought they had scored again when their forwards mauled their way over the line but referee Romain Poite could not see the grounding of the ball. Another strong forward platform provided the opportunity for Care to snipe over from close range. 

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James Chisholm celebrates the winning try Credit: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

It did not seem to be much of a threat to Wasps position but remarkably Harlequins then clawed themselves right back into the contest with Smith twice involved in a free-flowing move, the second involvement a beautifully-floated pass to Elia Elia who showed great strength to power over in the corner.

Smith’s conversion brought Quins to within two points, having at one stage trailed by 21, and the pressure began to tell on Wasps. First Cipriani missed a relatively simple kick at goal. Then a moment of madness by Haskell, who hit Roberts on his head with his shoulder, was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle. There was still much for Quins to do but the pressure finally told when James Chisholm drove over from close range to win the most remarkable contests.

Match details

Scores: 0-5 Eastmond try; 0-7 Cipriani con; 0-12 Carr try; 0-14 Cipriani con; 0-19 Johnson try; 0-21 Cipriani con; 5-21 Chisholm try; 10-21 Lang try; 12-21 Lang con; 12-26 Macken try; 12-28 Cipriani con; 17-28 Care try; 19-28 Smith con; 24-28 Elia try; 26-28 Smith con; 31-28 Chisholm try; 33-28 Smith con.

Harlequins: M Brown, C Walker, A Alofa, J Roberts, T Visser, J Lang, D Care, L Boyce, D Ward, K Sinckler, B Merrick, J Glynn, J Chisholm, A White, R Bothma. 

Replacements: E Elia, M Lambert, P Swainston, C Matthews, M Luamanu, D Lewis, M Smith, R Chisholm. 

Wasps: W le Roux, C Wade, B Macken, K Eastmond, M Watson, D Cipriani, D Robson, S McIntyre, A Johnson, J Cooper-Woolley, J Launchbury, J Gaskell, J Haskell, T Young, N Carr. 

Replacements: T Cruse, B Harris, M Moore, K Myall, G Thompson, J Simpson, R Miller, G Armitage. 

Referee: Romain Poite (France) 

7:27PM

FULL-TIME: Harlequins 33-28 Wasps

Remarkable stuff. Wasps were up comfortably and thinking about Ulster before the final quarter. That will do everything for Quins' confidence after a tough run. Marcus Smith was dynamite once he came on as James Chisholm goes over the winner.

Wasps now need five points next week to try and get a runners-up spot, but this will be a gutting defeat having been clearly in control.

Talk about a fixture exceeding expectations. Big win for Harlequins.

7:24PM

TRY J CHISHOLM! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 33-28 Wasps

It's there! What a comeback! 12-28 to 31-28 as Quins pull off the miracle. J Chisholm crashes over after a 13-phase attack. Conversion from Smith, what an incredible turnaround!

7:22PM

78 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

15 vs 14 then with Wasps clinging on! Quins believing.

7:18PM

RED CARD HASKELL!

It's red! High contact to the head, completely outlawed these days, and Haskell is walking. Roberts still down getting treatment.

7:18PM

75 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Cipriani's penalty slides to the left! Minute wasted off the clock though. Armitage then turned over in the tackle. Lang impressive in space! He combines with Visser and Care getting Quins all the way up to the Wasps 22.

Knocked on but the crowd aren't happy with Haskell, looked like a no-arms shot on Roberts who needs treatment.

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Credit: BT SPORT

7:14PM

73 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Wasps rallying, huge carry from Moore the replacement tighthead. Top offload as well. Pass then flies into touch but Wasps have a penalty.

Cipriani will take a shot.

7:11PM

TRY ELIA! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Quins on the comeback! Set play off the lineout pulls Wasps from left to right. Back they come the other way and Smith's skip pass finds Elia in space, the hooker with a phenomenal step to beat Le Roux and score!

Bonus-point try for Quins. Game on!

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Credit: GETTY IMAGES

7:08PM

68 mins - Harlequins 19-28 Wasps

Quins with the tails up, three tries now on the day. Lambert on for Boyce at loosehead. Smith angles a kick to the Wasps 22 before Watson clears... straight into touch! That was poor. Quins lineout on the Wasps 22-metre line.

7:05PM

TRY CARE! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 19-28 Wasps

Not clean ball for Care as Simpson applies the pressure, on for Robson. Quins rumbling. Smith with a dart, two metres short. Matthews stopped. Care burrows and gets it!

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Credit: BT SPORT

7:01PM

Harlequins try review

Long replays to see if Quins are over but the camera can't pick anything up, Poite the closest to the pile. Officials can't see so

that's no try. Five-metre scrum to Quins.

6:59PM

61 mins - Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Elia on for Ward. Smith also on for Lang. Bothma in some bother holding that arm, hopefully not the one he broke earlier in the season. It was jammed into the turf making a tackle.

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Credit: BT SPORT

6:57PM

58 mins - Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Quins searching for a reply, J Chisholm and Sinckler crashing up. Quins into the Wasps 22. Boyce just short! Care kicks wide, Visser unable to finish but Quins have a penalty. Shrill blast, Bothma down for some treatment.

6:52PM

TRY MACKEN! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Armitage on for Eastmond. That's nice from Cipriani, the short pop pass sending Macken over after Young mopped up the lineout. Macken one-on-one with Roberts found the outside shoulder. Bonus point for Wasps!

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Credit: GETTY IMAGES

6:49PM

54 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Quins coughing the pill up all too easily, first Care and then Chisholm. Cipriani punishes them by pushing Quins back into their 22.

You really can't argue with the quality of rugby being played by Danny Cipriani.....what a shame we can't watch him for @EnglandRugby#HARvWAS#ChampionsCup

— Canuck Ruck (@Canuckruck) 13 January 2018

6:46PM

52 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Good carries from Launchbury and Gaskell, the Wasps engine room working away. All a bit scrappy as Quins get a scrum. Le Roux down for treatment but he's back up on his feet.

6:44PM

50 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Penalty Quins from the resulting scrum. They needed that. Hosts desperate to get some territory back.

6:41PM

48 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wasps penalty and that's a monster touchfinder by Cipriani, gaining huge ground into the Quins 22. Wasps get the maul going but it's sacked illegally. Back to the corner... not straight! Three today for Johnson.

6:39PM

46 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Lang goes for a big touchfinder... and misses. Wasps coming straight back but Harlequins get a lineout to ease the pressure.

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Credit: GETTY IMAGES

6:38PM

44 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wasps certainly with the better start, Cooper-Woolley on the charge, the big prop hitting the Quins 22. Attack now up to ten phases.

Good hit by Roberts on Le Roux isolates the full-back and Quins get a holding on penalty. Hosts' defence stood firm there.

6:35PM

42 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wade with a chip and chase but Chisholm, who is also rapid, does well to beat the chase and kick to touch.

6:34PM

Second half underway

Solid recovery at the restart from Quins who then clear through Care to halfway and into touch.

6:20PM

HALF-TIME: Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Entertaining half after the early nerves, Wasps racing into a commanding 21-0 lead thanks to that Nizaam Carr special score between tries by Kyle Eastmond and Ashley Johnson.

Quins to their credit though have hit back well, James Lang, in today for Marcus Smith, setting up that Ross Chisholm score and then powering over at the end of the half. Interesting first few minutes coming up at the start of the second half.

Maybe Wasps peaked too soon. Quins are back in this #HARvWAS

— Lucas Bishop (@ruggerbruva76) 13 January 2018

6:18PM

TRY AND CONVERSION LANG! Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Quins in for a second! Care with the drifting run, Roberts on the short dummy line and Lang is able to step infield to score under the posts. Easy conversion and Quins cut the gap to nine point at the break.

6:17PM

40 mins - Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Here we go then. Pack trying to get the drive on. Penalty coming and given, another scrum.

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Credit: BT SPORT

6:14PM

37 mins - Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Wade knock-on chasing the restart gives Quins a scrum. High kick won by Visser on halfway, good work. Now Care breaks into the 22! Lang stepping and weaving, brushing off Haskell. Quins motoring.

Sincker's offload kicked clear but Quins get a five-metre scrum under the Wasps posts.

6:11PM

TRY CHISHOLM! Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Lang's attempted kick ricochets straight back into his hands. Quins still fighting, up to the Wasps 22. Nice bump from Bothma before Cipriani intercepts and clears. Lang does well on the scramble and kicks ahead, Chisholm leading the chase and doing enough to score!

Excellent work from Lang there and Chisholm's pace did the rest, regathered just short of the line but not held in the tackle before driving the extra few metres to the line. Lang can't convert.

6:07PM

TRY JOHNSON! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-21 Wasps

Clinical. Catch and drive from Wasps and the pack get over for a five-pointer, Johnson at the bottom. Well set maul that Quins couldn't stop. Wasps are flying.

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Credit: PA

6:05PM

30 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Care penalised for an attempted interception with Wasps breaking forward on the counter. Cipriani nudges into the corner.

6:04PM

28 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Lineout not straight! I make that four combined for both sides thus far. Marginal but consistent by Poite. Carr of all people with the clearance kick off the back of the scrum, makes about 30 metres.

6:02PM

26 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Bothma getting some treatment, Quins can't afford to lose him. Long attack for Quins around the Wasps 22. Little chip doesn't come off for Care to Glynn but Quins have a penalty, Johnson off his feet at the ruck. Lang goes to the corner. Boyce back from the bin.

How good is Nizaam Carr? Can't believe this fella hasn't got more Spingbok caps #HARvWAS

— SLockstone (@slockstone) 13 January 2018

6:01PM

24 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

So close for Quins in the corner with number but there's a small knock-on to rule out a score for Chisholm. Had to finish that off.

5:58PM

22 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

After a slow start then Wasps are flying. Lambert on for a scrum with Boyce still in the bin and he helps Quins get a scrum penalty. Lang to touch at the Wasps 22.

5:55PM

TRY CARR! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Quins' turn to try and respond. Care almost setting Lang free. Knocked on and Le Roux counters, and here come Wasps, Carr with astonishing pace! He goes all the way from 60 metres out. What a short-term signing he's been.

Romain Poite having an... interesting performance thus far. #HARvWAS

— Crashball Rugby (@_CrashballRugby) 13 January 2018

5:51PM

TRY EASTMOND! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-7 Wasps

Steady attack now from Wasps, 15 vs 14. Pulled back by McIntyre, then by Cipriani to create the space and Eastmond glides over! Superbly worked try.

Le Roux's pass getting checked by Romain Poite... is that clear and obviously forward? This angle suggests it is forward but the try stands!

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Credit: BT SPORT

5:50PM

YELLOW CARD BOYCE (QUINS)!

Quins loosehead Boyce (to the right of the shot below) gets a yellow card for a tackle on the man without the ball. Wasps go to the corner.

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Credit: BT SPORT

5:48PM

15 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Quins pinged for a tackle in the air as Cipriani drills the kick into the 22. Lineout then stolen! Both sides struggling for any momentum. Care kicks to touch.

5:46PM

13 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Bothma very busy. Quins have been excited about unleashing him all season long. Wasps though force a turnover and Robson sends a good kick upfield into touch.

5:43PM

11 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Scrum rock solid. Roberts crashes up and he then gets penalised for not releasing. That was disappointing. Good tackle though involving Cipriani. Resulting lineout from Wasps is then not straight.

5:41PM

9 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Care trying to catch out Wade with a deep kick but the wing is ready for it and clears. Watson then drops the replying kick to give Quins an attacking scrum.

5:40PM

7 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Walker's evening is over, big shame. Chisholm onto the wing. Wasps turn for a scrum and they then get a free-kick, early shove from Boyce (playing today in place of the banned Marler).

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Credit: BT SPORT

Backs move gets Wade sprinting into the 22. Promising this for Wasps. Penalty Quins though! Launchbury in from the side and Lang can clear.

5:36PM

5 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Better from Wasps, good dummy runners and cutout passes giving Wade a little room. Short grubber from Cipriani covered by Brown. Care clears high, Le Roux under it. Kick chase however earns Quins a scrum.

5:33PM

2 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Grubber from Roberts easily fielded by Le Roux. Lots of territory kicking currently as Brown goes deep... too deep. Wasps with the 22 dropout. Bit of concern for Walker after making a tackle on Watson, expect he had the wind knocked out of him.

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Credit: BT SPORT

5:31PM

Kick-off

Deep from Lang, the Quins ten in today for Smith. Robson clears to touch to give the hosts a lineout.

5:30PM

Here come the teams

Wade getting a nice word from Quins captain Dave Ward before the teams take the field. Great achievement.

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Credit: BT SPORT

5:27PM

Big day for Wade

He will lead Wasps out on his 150th club appearance. 92 tries in that time by the way. Unreal.

Congratulations to @ChristianWade3 who is in line to make his 150th appearance for Wasps today and will lead the team out! #COYW#wearewaspspic.twitter.com/xrw4LFOoGW

— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) 13 January 2018

5:19PM

Care vs Robson

The Wasps nine is red hot at the moment, although whether that would be enough to shift either of Eddie Jones' established options at nine in Ben Youngs and Danny Care remains to be seen. Here's how Care and Robson measure up in the Champions Cup this season.

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Credit: BT SPORT

5:14PM

Cipriani starts for Wasps, but for how long?

Wasps have also been busy regarding fly-half contracts, even if the club are yet to announce the arrival of Lima Sopoaga from New Zealand. A quick guide to him here.

Danny Cipriani's contract is up at the end of the season but the 30 year-old has still been in excellent form.

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Credit: GETTY IMAGES

5:11PM

No Marcus Smith...

Here's why they sped up the deal this week via their director of rugby John Kingston." data-reactid="577">But Harlequins are understandably delighted to sign him up to a new long-term deal until 2022. Here's why they sped up the deal this week via their director of rugby John Kingston.

“Although people are not entitled to sniff around, I have my ear to the ground and I am aware of people trying to induce and pull things. I am happy not to blow the whistle on them. But for me, the reality was that it was not helping Marcus and therefore I wanted to get it sorted and quickly resolved.”

4:39PM

Welcome

Ulster's win earlier today over La Rochelle." data-reactid="582">Good evening everybody and welcome along to what has suddenly become a must-win fixture for Wasps following Ulster's win earlier today over La Rochelle.

Here's the shape of Pool 1 as things stand before kick-off, with Wasps trailing Ulster now by seven points. The two sides meet next weekend at the Ricoh Arena for what already feels like a European classic.

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Pool 1

Team news is as follows: there are five changes to the Harlequins starting XV that lost out by the narrowest of margins to Sale Sharks last weekend. Mike Brown returns as vice-captain while James Lang will make his European debut in place of Marcus Smith, who signed a long-term contract with the club this week. 

In the forwards Lewis Boyce and Renaldo Bothma come in, while Archie White is named at openside flanker as Chris Robshaw picked up a minor knock in training this week. 

Occupying either wing, Charlie Walker (five) and Tim Visser (four) will look to continue their fine form with the two wingers combining for nine tries since the start of December.

Meanwhile, Joe Launchbury, Kyle Eastmond and Simon McIntyre all return to Wasps’ starting line-up.

Club captain Launchbury has recovered from a heavy cold to partner James Gaskell in the engine room, while last week’s skipper Ashley Johnson joins McIntyre and Jake Cooper-Woolley in the front row.

England international Eastmond combines with Brendan Macken in the centre, while Guy Armitage who made a good impression from the bench against Saracens last week, retains the No.23 shirt.

Elsewhere, rugby director Dai Young has named unchanged back-row, half-back and back three combinations for a third consecutive week. This means Christian Wade makes his 150th appearance on the right wing, while James Haskell represents Wasps for a 50th time in Europe from the blindside flank.

Harlequins:  15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 James Lang, 9 Danny Care; 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Dave Ward (c), 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 George Merrick, 5 Ben Glynn, 6 James Chisholm, 7 Archie White, 8 Renaldo Bothma

Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ross Chisholm

Wasps:  15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson; 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Ashley Johnson, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 5 James Gaskell, 6 James Haskell, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Nizaam Carr

Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Guy Armitage

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

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Lima Sopoaga To Wasps   All Black Will Be An Upgrade On Danny Cipriani... But Who Will New Zealand Turn To Next?

Source:Yahoo Sports

Lima Sopoaga To Wasps All Black Will Be An Upgrade On Danny Cipriani... But Who Will New Zealand Turn To Next?