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12th April 2014 16:53

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Unstoppable: Manu Tuilagi

England centre Manu Tuilagi scored twice as Leicester Tigers saw off London Wasps with a 27-15 win at Welford Road.

The first half saw the Tigers lead 14-10 after both sides exchanged converted tries through Manu Tuilagi, Guy Thompson and Niki Goneva after Andy Goode had given Wasps the lead after three minutes with a penalty.

Wasps showed good resilience in the second half but could not prevent Leicester from adding another try through Tuilagi and an Owen Williams penalty before seemingly securing a losing bonus point with a Tommy Bell try, only to concede a fourth try two minutes from time through David Mele.

The game had a fairly low-key opening, with Tuilagi coming closest to going over before being denied by James Short, minutes after Goode had given Wasps the lead from the boot. Following a good rolling maul, Tuilagi touched down on the 20th minute before Williams, after being asked to retake his conversion, improved upon his earlier missed penalty to give Leicester a 7-3 lead.

Wasps looked to have hit back immediately with a try of their own through Will Helu but the TMO ruled that the winger had been held up. There was no doubt over Wasps' try five minutes later when Thompson dashed over the line after excellent play by Ed Jackson to retake the lead, with Goode adding the extras.

The Tigers retook the lead on the stroke of half time as Goneva latched onto Mathew Tait's pass to go over in the corner, with Williams converting again to head into the break 14-10 up.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Tigers extended their lead after stealing the lineout before Tuilagi charged over the line to go 19-10 ahead. With 15 minutes to play, Leicester went 12 points clear after Williams kicked a 40-metre penalty, but Wasps brought themselves back within reach of a losing bonus point after winning possession back before working the ball down the line for Bell to finish.

Leicester went on the hunt for a bonus point of their own but were initially thwarted by more strong defending from Wasps, before eventually denying the visitors a losing bonus point as Mele put the finishing touch to a good drive to seal a 27-15 win.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Tuilagi 2, Goneva, Mélé
Cons: Williams 2
Pen: Williams

For Wasps:
Tries: Thompson, Bell
Cons: Goode, Daly
Pen: Goode

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 11 Blaine Scully, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 David Mélé, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Niall Morris.

Wasps: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 James Short, 13 Chris Bell (c), 12 Charlie Hayter, 11 Will Helu, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Ed Jackson, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Ricky Reeves, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Elliot Daly.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell & Kelvin Stewart
TMO: David Grashoff

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