Goode kicks Wasps to victory over Leicester

Andy Goode kicked 17 points to help London Wasps to a 22-12 Aviva Premiership victory over his former team Leicester Tigers at Adams Park.

England and Lions winger Christian Wade scored the only other points for London Wasps.

Goode was excellent against his former side, scoring three penalties and two drop goals, along with converting Wade’s early first-half try.

The off-season signing from Worcester started his time with Wasps in heartbreaking fashion on the opening weekend when he missed a late conversion, but Goode was highly accurate and kept his team ahead in the second half when it mattered.

Leicester came into the fixture missing 17 of their players through a combination of injury and international call-ups, but did have the morale-boosting return of director of rugby Richard Cockerill to the touchline after completing his ban.

The Tigers though had not won at Adams Park for six years, and too often they lacked that clinical touch required to find the try line.

Young Tigers’ fly-half Owen Williams missed two early penalties, one from 50 metres, and struggled with the blustery wind behind him as Leicester passed up the chance to take an early advantage.

Wasps were not so frivolous – Christian Bell floating a perfect pass behind the defence to Wade who crossed for his third try of the season.

Williams was then on target with his third penalty attempt from closer to the posts as Leicester got on the board.

Respective hookers Carlo Festuccia and Neil Briggs could have been forgiven for shaking their heads when assessing conditions before kick-off, as the wind played havoc with both lineouts throughout.

The scrum was another matter, as both front-rows won penalties from referee Andrew Small with Marcos Ayerza making his first appearance of the season for the Tigers.

Hands in the ruck from Thomas Waldrom gave Goode the shot for a further three points which he took to give Wasps a 10-3 lead after half an hour, but Leicester countered by pressuring Elliot Daly to force a penalty for holding on – Williams converting the second time in the match.

Goode’s second penalty restored Wasps’ seven-point lead as he successfully managed the wind, but Leicester soon hit back – pressure from Ed Slater on Joe Simpson forcing a chargedown that culminated in three more points for Williams, leaving Wasps ahead at the interval.

Festuccia’s afternoon worsened when he was sin-binned after the restart for an offence at the breakdown, with Wasps sacrificing wing Josh Bassett to bring on the necessary hooker before holding out admirably defending within their 22, despite the numerical disadvantage.

A fine drop goal from Goode meant that all of the Tigers’ territory and pressure counted for nothing, as the former Leicester ten put Wasps ahead by seven points once more.

The outstanding Goode was then at it again. As the rain began to fall the Wasps’ fly-half swiveled onto his right boot and slotted another long-range drop goal much to the delight of the Adams Park crowd, and the bemusement of the Leicester coaching staff.

The visitors continued to build phases and establish field position, but were too ponderous when it came to the necessary break behind the solid Wasps’ defensive line. David Mele’s lashed drop goal summed up Leicester’s frustration.

The Tigers did hand a debut to rising star Pablo Matera off the bench with 15 minutes remaining and Goode then missed a long-range penalty attempt to keep Leicester just about within reach at 19-9.

A simple penalty for Williams, his fourth, cut the deficit and put Leicester into losing bonus-point range.

Goode though denied his old side even that consolation with a penalty after a mid-air collision between himself and the American wing Blaine Scully with four minutes left. It was enough to send Leicester away with nothing, as Goode rightly received his Man of the Match awa

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