London Wasps hang on to beat Leicester Tigers

London Wasps held on to beat an advancing Leicester Tigers team 14-12 in the Aviva Premiership at Adams Park on Sunday afternoon.


The result means that London Wasps remain unbeaten at home this season and they move up to seventh in the Premiership standings.


Leicester were forced into a late change shortly before kick off as Anthony Allen had to withdraw due to illness so Dan Bowden stepped into the No12 shirt.


Bowden’s place on the bench was taken by Andy Forsyth who wore the No22 shirt.


Missing several internationals because of Autumn international duty, the Tigers were able to bring back Matthew Tait, the full-back returning to their starting line-up for the first time in 13 months.

Anthony Allen returned at centre, with Tomas Waldron in the back row, after their England duty, while Wasps had flanker Jonathan Poff returning from injury. The first try came after only three minutes.


Tom Varndell was the beneficiary of Elliot Daly’s pass, and as the spare man on the wing, was able to touch down, referee Sean Davey awarding the try after reference to his TMO.


Nick Robinson missed the conversion attempt.


Christian Wade almost doubled the try count only two minutes later, weaving his way through the Tigers’ defence, but was pulled back by Niall Morris just before the line.


Robinson kicked a goal from the 22 line after a penalty in the subsequent ruck, before George Ford replied, to get Leicester off the mark on ten minutes.


Daly missed a chance to add to Wasps’ score, with a penalty from well into his own half, but although he had the legs, his kick was wide of the mark.


Robinson fared no better only minutes later, as he hit the post with another long distance penalty, after great scrummaging from his pack. Phil Swainston, earning his first Premiership start for Wasps, was particularly impressive at tighthead.


Ford added his second penalty with six minutes of the half to play, but missed the chance to take the lead with another kick, as Wasps indiscipline in the tackle led to Leicester earning penalties in dangerous positions.


The Tigers were ahead three minutes after the break, as Ford kicked his third penalty, for a 9-6 lead.


A second Varndell touch down was denied, as the TMO ruled the final pass by Hugo Southwell as forward.


Lee Thomas, on at half-time for Chris Bell, restored Wasps’ lead with a penalty on 51 minutes, before adding his second on 58. Ford pegged back three points as the game entered the final quarter, with Wasps still two points ahead.


Ford missed another attempt from distance with eight minutes to play, after Billy Vunipola had gone in at the side, penalised for the third time in the game.


Thomas’ penalty from the left was wide on 75, as the home tried to stretch the lead out of Leicester’s reach, before a period of kick tennis led to a late Tigers charge.


But despite taking the ball through the phases, they couldn’t make that late possession count, and Wasps kept up their great home record against the Tigers, and also retained their 100 percent home record for the season.


Final Score Wasps 14 (8) Leicester 12 (6)


Scorers


London Wasps
Tries: Varndell
Penalties:Robinson, Thomas 2


Leicester Tigers
Penalties: Ford 4


Match Officials
Referee:
Sean Davey (110th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Kevin Stewart.
TMO: Graham Hughes


Teams


London Wasps


15 Hugo Southwell , 14 Tom Varndell , 13 Elliot Daly , 12 Chris Bell , 11 Christian Wade , 10 Nick Robinson , 9 Joe Simpson , 1 Tim Payne , 2 T Rhys Thomas , 3 Phil Swainston , 4 James Cannon , 5 Marco Wentzel , 6 Ashley Johnson , 7 Jonathan Poff , 8 Billy Vunipola

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