Planet Rugby

Wasps get the better of Leicester

06th December 2009 17:44

Share:

Wasps v Leicester Geoff Parling

Tigers stung: Geoff Parling is unable to move forward

Wasps withstood a late fightback from rivals Leicester to secure a precious 24-22 Guinness Premiership victory at a packed Adams Park.

After the hosts had gone ahead through a Paul Sackey try, four penalties from Toby Flood put the Tigers in the ascendancy but Steve Kefu crossed to restore Wasps' lead at the break.

Dave Walder's solid kicking increased the advantage and Wasps hung on despite a last-minute try from Jordan Crane, which earned Leicester a bonus point to keep them ahead of their rivals in the table.

Given torrential rain overnight, Wasps were relieved they did not have the embarrassment of having to call off a home game, having refused to play at Sale's Edgeley Park on November 27 because they deemed the pitch unplayable.

Wasps face a hearing to discuss that situation on Monday.

However, on Sunday the buzz among their supporters concerned the return of Danny Cipriani, on the bench for the first time since suffering a broken leg on October 4 but unused.

But it was England team-mate Sackey who had them on their feet after six minutes, thundering up the right wing after snaffling a tapped penalty by Joe Simpson and smashing through three poor attempted tackles. Walder missed the conversion.

Leicester chopped off three of those five points when Flood made no mistake with a penalty, which was awarded for offside. And, following a sustained period of pressure, Flood was handed another opportunity to go for goal in the 16th minute when Serge Betsen offended at a ruck, and was again successful.

Wasps conceded another stupid penalty three minutes later for a collection of offences attempting to halt a Leicester driving maul. Referee Chris White warned he was losing patience but Flood's standing foot slipped and his penalty sailed yards wide.

The Wasps scrum was creaking under pressure, Tim Payne repeatedly going to ground. With 22 minutes gone, it went nose first again and Flood made no mistake this time, steering his penalty between the posts from 35 yards.

Wasps finally broke upfield from the restart and it was Leicester's turn to transgress, ball-killing in front of their posts. Walder reduced the deficit to one point with a 24th-minute penalty.

It was clear Wasps were struggling in the scrum. Another collapse and another penalty to touch saw Leicester back in the home team's half, where they had spent the majority of the opening half-hour.

And, when White spotted a maul being pulled down on his blindside, Flood's fourth successful penalty after 33 minutes arrowed home from wide out on the left.

Just when Leicester's followers were beginning to feel the reigning champions were comfortable, Flood sliced a clearance horribly. Geordan Murphy saved the day but only for a matter of seconds.

Mark Robinson's pass found Walder and his astute offload sent Kefu hurtling between the posts in the 35th minute. Walder converted, and added a penalty three minutes later as a stunned Leicester found themselves trailing at the break in a game they had largely dominated.

Wasps began the second half with increased intent, rewarded in the 49th minute by a Walder penalty after Leicester made consecutive mistakes under pressure.

And when Walder nailed his fourth penalty on the hour, only for Flood to reply in kind inside 60 seconds, the 10,116 crowd cranked up the atmosphere.

Flood then got the chance to close the gap further but hooked his 25-yarder and, with Wasps much steadier in the scrum now, they threatened to pull away.

But you cannot bet against the champions. Crane scored a last-minute try from a drive and Aaron Mauger nailed the conversion, but it only served to earn a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Sackey, Kefu
Pens: Walder 4
Con: Walder

For Leicester:
Try: Crane
Pens: Flood 5
Con: Flood

Wasps:15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Serge Betsen (C), 6 John Hart, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Gabriel Bocca, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Will Matthews, 21 James Honeyben, 22 David Lemi, 23 Ben Jacobs.

Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Aaron Mauger (capt), 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Robbie Harris, 19 Ben Kay, 20 Craig Newby, 21 James Grindal, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Alesana Tuilagi.

Referee: Chris White

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs Griquas19:10
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00