Leicester temporarily extended their lead at the Aviva Premiership summit thanks to a 21-12 victory over Wasps at Welford Road.
Leicester temporarily extended their lead at the Aviva Premiership summit thanks to a 21-12 victory over rivals Wasps at Welford Road on Saturday.
First-half tries from fly-half Jeremy Staunton and second-row Steve Mafi put the Tigers in control against a Wasps side still reeling from the departure of director of rugby Tony Hanks earlier this week.
To their credit, the visitors refused to buckle in the second half and an outstanding defensive display kept an understrength Leicester at bay.
The Tigers led inside the second minute thanks to a penalty from Staunton but two penalties from opposite number Dave Walder quickly put Wasps 6-3 ahead.
Yet the Tigers claimed their first try in the 11th minute when Staunton charged over the line.
The fly-half converted his own try and then booted a penalty three minutes later as the hosts began to turn the screw on their old enemies.
Walder's third penalty kept Wasps right in contention in the 18th minute but nine minutes later Mafi powered down the right channel and brushed off a weak challenge from Richard Haughton to cross the line.
Staunton could not convert from a difficult angle and it was to Wasps' credit that they continued to compete at the set-piece in the face of increasing pressure.
Walder missed a penalty to leave the scores finely poised at 18-9 in Leicester's favour at the break
Shortly after the restart, Staunton landed his third penalty and although Walder replied with his fourth penalty, the action thereafter was largely disappointing.
Wasps defended stoutly but they could not claim a losing bonus-point as their play-off hopes were dealt a blow.
Tries: Staunton, Mafi
Pen: Staunton 3
Pen: Walder 4
Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 James Grindal, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Craig Newby (capt), 5 George Skivington, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Peter Bucknall, 19 Calum Green, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Dan Hipkiss, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.
Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Ben Jacob, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Nic Berry, 8 Joe Worsley, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 Joe Launchbury, 5 Richard Birkett (capt), 4 Marty Veale, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Shaun Ruwers, 18 Bob Baker, 19 James Cannon, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Steve Kefu, 23 Jack Wallace.
Venue: Welford Road