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Dallaglio Looks Foward

Dallaglio Looks Foward

Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio was
bracing himself for another titanic struggle against defending
champions Toulouse in next month’s Heineken Cup final.

Wasps and England captain Lawrence Dallaglio was
bracing himself for another titanic struggle against defending
champions Toulouse in next month’s Heineken Cup final after his side’s dramatic 37-32 semi-final victory against Munster here at Lansdowne Road on Sunday.

“Toulouse, their pedigree speaks for itself,” said No.8
Dallaglio of the
French giants. “But it’s almost disrespectful of me to start
talking about
Toulouse after such a fantastic game of rugby.

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“But if you had to play someone in a Heineken Cup Final,
you’d want it to
be Toulouse, Leicester, and Munster, because they are the hallmark of

In a thrilling match, played in front of a capacity 48,000 and
overwhelmingly Munster supporting crowd, Wasps came from 32-22 down
with 20
minutes to go to win in the closing stages when Samoa hooker Trevor

crossed for their fifth.

Both Dallaglio and English champions Wasps’s former Wales
scrum-half Rob
said the match was every bit as equal an occasion as any international they’d played.
“We’ve both been in some amazing games and this is up there
with them,”
said Dallaglio, whose team outscored Munster five tries to two to
reach their
first Heineken Cup final.

“It had courage, passion, skill, the game had everything. The
supporters made it a very special occasion. It was a bearpit, a

And he insisted there was no panic when Wasps conceded two tries
within two
minutes on the hour mark to leave Munster 32-22 in front.
“We weren’t best pleased but there were over 20 minutes left
in the game.
We were dug in a hole but we knew if we played through three phases we
score especially as they were starting to tire.”

Howley, whose charge down of Jason Holland’s kick, led to one of
tries added: “This was a great game to play in. This is the
shop-window of
European rugby, the best tournament in the northern hemisphere. This was up with being selected for the Lions in 2001.”

Meanwhile Dallaglio said that Wasps’s win owed much to the culture
of the
side. “We are a humble club from a humble background. We are not
financed but we have a spirit and core of values which we’ve carried
over from
the amateur era.

“Not too many players come in and not many go out and that’s
very special.”

Dallaglio also praised the contribuition of Wasps former Ireland
Warren Gatland.
The New Zealander arrived at the club two-and-a-half years ago
after being
axed by Ireland and No.8 Dallaglio said this win would be
extra-special for
the Wasps director of rugby.
“When Warren arrived at the club we were bottom of the
Premiership. What
he’s achieved since then is very impressive.”

Gatland himself said: “I can’t take the smile off my face.
The carrot for
us was knowing that the final would be played at Twickenham (on May
23rd). It is
a ground we know and we have been there before.”

Meanwhile Wasps defence coach Shaun Edwards the former Wigan and
Britain international, marvelled at the quality of the semi-final.
“You wouldn’t want to rub that game off your video, would
you? It was the
best game I’ve ever seen in league or union.”

But for Munster that was scant consolation. This was their fifth
semi-final but defeat means they have still to win the Heineken Cup.
This was not as narrow a reverse as last season’s 13-12 semi loss
Toulouse or their 9-8 defeat by Northampton in the 2000 final.
Coach Alan Gaffney, said: “The boys are
disappointed but there’s no reason why they can’t come back from this
this will have to be one of the tougher ones, especially as were 10
points in

AFP – 2004.