Wasps edge out Newcastle as departing Banahan inspires Bath
Wasps held on to third place in the Premiership table as they defeated fourth-placed Newcastle Falcons on the final day of the regular season, while Bath qualified for the European Champions Cup.
The standout clash of the final round of fixtures came at a sold-out Kingston Park, where home supporters were hopeful of avoiding table-topping Exeter Chiefs in their first jaunt into the play-offs.
But the Falcons were blown away by Wasps in the first half and only rallied after their opening try in the 63rd minute, Newcastle losing 39-22 despite a late push.
Tom Cruse, Elliot Daly, Danny Cipriani, Josh Bassett, Jimmy Gopperth and Willie Le Roux all crossed for the visitors to secure a comfortable victory.
FT: Wasps score six tries to win 22-39 against Newcastle Falcons. That means we will head to Allianz Park in the semi finals on Saturday May 19 to take on Saracens 12:30 KO. Match reaction to follow... pic.twitter.com/jiK2uhzuBE-- Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) May 5, 2018
Champions Cup places were also up for grabs on Saturday and Leicester Tigers and Bath both secured top-six finishes.
Leicester, inspired by the brilliant George Ford, denied Sale Sharks with a 35-13 away win, while Bath were rampant in a 63-19 defeat of London Irish as Matt Banahan scored a hat-trick in his final match for the club.
That result ensured Bath pipped Gloucester - Banahan's new side - after they were thrashed 62-12 at Saracens.
Leaders Exeter Chiefs beat Harlequins 41-17, while Northampton Saints saw off Worcester Warriors 32-24.