Williams kicks Leicester to victory

Date published: November 30 2014

Owen Williams kicked all of Leicester Tigers points as they secured a vital 18-16 triumph over Wasps at Welford Road.

Owen Williams kicked all of Leicester Tigers points as they secured a vital 18-16 triumph over Wasps at Welford Road.

Three Williams’ penalties to Andy Goode’s one meant that the Midlands’ outfit went into the break with a 9-3 lead.

Alapati Leiua’s try snatched the advantage in the visitors’ favour, but two three-pointers from Williams took the Tigers’ ahead once again.

Successive Goode efforts from the tee regained Wasps’ lead but the Leicester stand-off was on target for the sixth time late on to seal the win for the hosts.

Despite going into the match on the verge of the play-offs, Richard Cockerill would have been disappointed by Leicester’s start to the campaign.

Four victories out of eight represented a poor return for a team who are used to winning titles, even though part of that could be attributed to the injuries they have suffered this year.

With that crisis now easing slightly, the Tigers were able to field the likes of Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Anthony Allen, and it showed in the initial exchanges.

Their scrummaging opened impressively and they went 6-0 up early on through the boot of Williams.

However, the visitors, with their high tempo game and talented backs, were always a threat and they pressed inside the hosts’ 22.

That pressure eventually resulted in a three-point opportunity for Goode which the stand-off duly converted to reduce the arrears. Both teams tried to move the ball through the hands but mistakes at crucial times prevented each side from creating genuine try-scoring chances.

Williams was proving accurate from the tee, though, and a third penalty with the last kick of the half took them 9-3 ahead at the interval.

Wasps were still in contention and that was shown when Leiua crossed the whitewash for a 10-9 lead.

That advantage didn’t last as a pair of penalties from the Leicester fly-half gave them a five-point buffer with 15 minutes to go.

Unperturbed, the visitors hit back and this time Goode was on target twice in quick succession, but the final word was left to Williams who snatched the win late on for Cockerill’s men.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pens: Williams 6

For Wasps:
Try: Leiua
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 3

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 David Mele, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Brad Thorn (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Matt Smith.

Wasps: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Chris Bell (c), 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Ed Jackson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Cannon, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Rob Miller.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Steve Lee, Simon McConnell
TMO: Rowan Kitt