Planet Rugby

Wasps exact revenge on Leicester

29th March 2008 16:34

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Harry Ellis looks to make a break against the Wasps

Closing the gap: Wasps continue to gain ground on the top four sides

Wasps exacted revenge on Leicester for last week's EDF Cup defeat with a well deserved 24-19 Guinness Premiership victory at Welford Road on Saturday.

The result, the first time Wasps have won in the league at the Tigers' home, ensures they edge closer to a play-off spot.

It was Danny Cipriani who reignited Wasps' play-off hopes when he crossed with twelve minutes left for a stunning try, after Leicester had clawed their way back into their game.

Fraser Waters grabbed two early tries for the visitors only for the boot of Andy Goode and a Seru Rabeni try to leave the game hanging in the balance - before Cipriani, who scored twice against the Tigers last week, had the last word.

Leicester started on the front foot, and Goode kicked them ahead inside the first minute when Tim Payne was penalised for holding on in the tackle.

But Wasps were soon in the ascendancy, and on eight minutes Waters grabbed the first of his tries.

The Tigers lost a scrum against the head, and number eight John Hart fed the outside centre who ran home from 50 metres.

David Walder converted and then had a big hand in Wasps' second try on twelve minutes.

England winger Paul Sackey jinked past several tackles on the right wing, before the ball was worked out to Walder - who missed out three Wasps players to find Waters who dived over.

The former Newcastle fly-half converted, but the lead was reduced to eight points when Goode knocked over his second penalty following a 40 metre burst from Johne Murphy.

Sackey then demonstrated his skills in defence, holding up prop Mario Castrogiovanni on the try line as Leicester piled on the pressure.

Inside centre Riki Flutey was sent to the sin-bin on 30 minutes for being off his feet, and Goode's short-range kick reduced the arrears to 14-9.

Despite being camped on Wasps' try-line late in the first half, Leicester failed to cross - with Rabeni ignoring an overlap while Tom Varndell ran into his own man three metres out.

The Wasps defence was finally breached six minutes after the break as Rabeni took Goode's ball and skipped past Walder and Simon Shaw's feeble tackles to touch down.

Walder missed one chance with the boot but on 59 minutes made no mistake with a long-distance penalty to put Wasps one point ahead at 17-16.

Cipriani then gave his side a vital eight-point lead when he jinked through the Leicester defence from 20 metres out and added the conversion to make it 24-16 with eighteen minutes to go.

Another Goode penalty ensured a frantic finish - and although Cipriani missed a long-range penalty to make the game safe, Wasps held on.

The Scorers:

For Leicester:

Try: Rabeni

Con: Goode

Pens: Goode 4

For Wasps:

Tries: Waters 2, Cipriani

Cons: Walder 2, Cipriani

Pen: Walder

Yellow card: Flutey (Wasps, 30th minute - off feet at ruck)

The Teams:

Leicester: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Seru Rabeni, 12 Dan Hipkiss, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Martin Corry, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Julian White, 18 Richard Blaze, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Christophe Laussucq, 21 Sam Vesty, 22 Ollie Smith.

Wasps: 15 Danny Cipriani, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Josh Lewsey, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 John Hart, 7 Tom Rees, 6 James Haskell, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Raphaël Ibañez (c), 1 Tim Payne.

Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Pat Barnard, 18 Tom French, 19 George Skivington, 20 Mark McMillan, 21 Dominic Waldouck, 22 Rob Webber.

Referee: Chris White

Touch judges: Peter Huckle, Steve Terheege

Television match official: Brian Abrahams, Graham Hughes

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