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ROB HOWLEY, the man Wasps are planning to do without, won them the Heineken Cup with a last-gasp bit of magic at Twickenham.

The scrum-half faces a lengthy lay-off following wrist surgery and Wasps are finalising a deal to sign Matt Dawson as a replacement. Howley proved his worth in the most dramatic of ways by scoring the try to beat Toulouse 27-20.

With a minute left and the scores at 20-20, he kicked upfield. Sensing Clement Poitrenaud hesitate in the hope the ball would go dead, he gave chase and dived on the ball just as the fullback attempted to touch it down.

To Poitrenaud's horror, video ref Alan Lewis gave the try and Wasps were left to celebrate.

Howley said: "Every try is important but I won't forget this for a very long time. Whether he relaxed I don't know. All I know is he hesitated and I took the opportunity."

JASON Leonard bowed out of rugby in fine style as Harlequins won the Parker Pen Cup against Montferrand at the Madejski Stadium.

The world's most-capped prop came on as a late substitute.


WINNER: Lawrence Dallaglio with the trophy
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 24, 2004
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