Premiership: Leicester Tigers 18-9 Wasps

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Leicester’s opening try came from a close-range maul
Gallagher Premiership
Leicester (3) 18
Tries: Bateman, Veainu Con: Reid Pens: Hardwick, Reid
Wasps (6) 9
Pens: Gopperth 3

Second-half tries from Greg Bateman and Telusa Veainu saw second-bottom Leicester come from behind to beat Wasps in the Premiership.

Two Jimmy Gopperth penalties put Wasps 6-3 up after a forgettable first half.

Leicester broke the deadlock when Greg Bateman touched down from a close-range maul and Zach Kibirige almost responded for Wasps but was denied by a tackle.

It was a pivotal moment as a minute later Veainu grabbed a loose pass to run in and score for Tigers.

Defeat sees Wasps slip to 10th after a week where director of rugby Dai Young “stepped back” from first-team duties, with Lee Blackett taking charge for the first time as interim head coach.

Leicester, meanwhile, are now just two points behind them after only their third Premiership win of the season.

The hosts had Tomas Lavanini sin-binned early in the second half for a dangerous tackle on Wasps’ Nizaam Carr, as he was in the air from the lineout.

A first tryless game of the top-flight season looked possible before the Leicester pack pushed over, but the contribution of Ben White was just as important as his last-ditch tackle on Wasps wing Kibirige saw him lose grasp of the ball as he approached the line.

The challenge was on the high side but not punished and moments later Veainu scooped a misplaced Wasps pass to run the length of the pitch and score the match-sealing try for Leicester.

Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy:

“In the first half, we gave Wasps too many opportunities and we didn’t start the second half very well, conceding another score and then going down to 14.

“We showed great effort to immediately get back into their territory and from then on, we were more accurate and got our rolling maul going to good effect.”

On Ben White’s match-winning tackle: “It was a huge moment and it just shows what can happen if you don’t give up as the winger should score that every time but Ben’s effort was remarkable.”

Wasps interim head coach Lee Blackett:

“Zach scores that try 99 times out of a hundred and then when we throw a poor pass, they go the length to score.

“Games in these conditions are won and lost by small margins and they won the little moments today.

“Losing Dai [Young] on Tuesday was a surprise to all of us but it didn’t affect our performance today and we won’t be using his departure as an excuse.

“It didn’t affect our preparation and I thought we were in a good place, and so it proved for the first 30 minutes of the game.”

Leicester: Veainu; Holmes, Taute, Eastmond, Hughes; Hardwick, White; Bateman, Youngs (capt), Cole, Lavanini, Spencer, Liebenberg, Taufua, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Polota-Nau, Leatigaga, Heyes, Wells, Reffell, Simmons, Reid, Worth.

Wasps: Watson; Kibirige, Le Bourgeois, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Robson (co-capt); McIntyre, Taylor, Brookes, Rowlands, Flament, J Willis, Young (co-capt), Carr.

Replacements: Oghre, Zhvania, Alo, Shields, Vailanu, Wolstenholme, Searle, Spink.

Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU).



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