Saturday at the Aviva was billed as a meeting of two heavyweights - the Pro12 leaders against the Premiership leaders. Three first half tries from Leinster via Isa Nacewa, Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw had Wasps on the ropes. Though they would recover momentarily in the second half to land a few jabs, it was a comprehensive win for the Irish side.
Overall, the English media were very disappointed with the showing from their league leaders.
In what was their final opportunity to put themselves into the good graces of Lions head coach Warren Gatland, David Hands of The Sunday Times felt that Leinster players won all the key battles.
As shootouts go, this was no OK Corral. All those who sought to paint this Champions Cup match as a final trial for places in the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer might have saved their breath — the honours all went to those wearing blue.
Johnny Sexton v Danny Cipriani? No contest, the Englishman had left the pitch before the hour. Devin Toner outplayed as consistent an individual as Joe Launchbury; the Leinster centres proved far more effective than their Wasps counterparts while, in the battle for loose ball, Sean O’Brien enjoyed the biggest of games against James Haskell.
The Guardian's Paul Rees thought the Wasps players were made to look like 'April fools' on Saturday.
Leinster made April fools of Wasps in a meeting of the league leaders that was so one-sided it looked more like top against bottom. Just as England had been knocked out of their stride here two weeks ago, so Wasps needed more time than they were given by opponents they comfortably defeated twice last season. After providing three semi-finalists last season, England will supply no more than one this year and if Saracens defeat Glasgow they will face Munster here.
In The Telegraph, David Schofield picked out Joey Carbery - who was playing in just his fourth Champions Cup game - as a possible bolter for the Lions squad.
Yet by far the best player was Joey Carbery, usually Sexton’s understudy at fly-half but starting at full-back, where he was sensational, making 200 metres with ball in hand and setting up two tries. Despite not being selected by Ireland during the Six Nations, Carbery has emerged as a real bolter for Warren Gatland to consider.
Sam Peters of the Mail On Sunday called the game a 'lesson-to-end-all-lessons'.
He also added that 'Few would bet against them going on to claim a fourth European crown.'
Same ground, same outcome. Two weeks after England’s Grand Slam dream disappeared down the Aviva Stadium plughole, the English Premiership’s current top dogs Wasps were sent packing with their legs firmly between their legs.
A moment of spectacularly cack-handed amateurism from Springbok Willie le Roux will be the abiding memory of this lesson-to-end-all-lessons for Wasps as their loudly trumpeted January arrival dropped the ball in the act of scoring what could have been a game-altering first-half try.
Le Roux may never live down an error few schoolboys would have made. Perhaps, just perhaps, it would have woken Wasps from their first-half slumber. In truth, the gulf between these two sides was enormous. Le Roux’s error was simply emblematic of a blundering display from a Wasps side who have much thinking to do.
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