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Match Report

07 Jan 2012: Wasps v Leicester Tigers

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Match Report
Tigers's Badge Leicester Tigers 29
Wasps's Badge Wasps 11
Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership Venue: Welford Road
Match Date: Sat 07 Jan 2012, Kick Off: 17:00
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth Assistant Referee: Peter Huckle
TV Match Official: Trevor Fisher Assistant Referee: Paul Burton

Tigers too good at Welford Road

Wasps left Welford Road empty-handed, after a gutsy performance which made the home side work hard for the win, with flyhalf Billy Twelvetrees scoring all their points in a 29-11 result.

Wasps made an encouraging start, after Twelvetrees sent the kickoff directly into touch.

They were awarded a freekick from the resultant scrum, and Sam Jones took it quickly. Rob Webber and Jonathan Poff both made hard yards, before Tigers were penalised, a few metres inside their own half. Elliot Daly went for the posts, and his high kick just had enough power to creep over the bar, to give Wasps the lead, inside two minutes.

Leicester then took control of possession and territory, without seriously threatening to breach the Wasps defence. They spent ten minutes in or near the Wasps 22, before Geordan Murphy came into the line, following the scrum in midfield. Wasps were penalised at the breakdown, and Twelvetrees levelled the score, with a simple kick.

Wasps responded immediately, with an unlikely try. They won the restart, and moved the ball out to the backs. Ryan Davis sent a wayward pass towards Riki Flutey, but it flew well behind him. Elliot Daly went back to retrieve, and did well to find Tom Varndell in space on the left. He made good ground, before being stopped just outside the 22. The ball squirted out of the side of the ruck, Nic Berry gathered, and had a clear run in, down the unguarded blind side. Ryan Davis sent his conversion attempt to the right of the posts.

Twelvetrees pulled back three points with his second penalty, after 20 minutes, following good work by his forwards, just outside the Wasps 22.
After several minutes of further Leicester pressure, Wasps were awarded a penalty, which finally got them across halfway. Rob Webber’s throw in to the lineout was not straight, but, almost immediately, Wasps stole possession, and Marco Wentzel broke away down the right. He had Richard Haughton and Elliot Daly in support, but was unable to get the ball away.

Seven minutes before halftime, Leicester went ahead for the first time, following an incisive run by Geordan Murphy. He joined the line, just outside the Wasps 22, and stepped inside two defenders. A few metres short of the line, he passed to the supporting Thomas Waldrom, who failed to gather. It seemed as if he had knocked on, but the referee waved play on, indicating that a Wasps hand had knocked the ball backwards, and Twelvetrees beat the defence to the touchdown, as it rolled over the line. The flyhalf added the extra points, to make the score 13-8.

Ryan Davis narrowed the gap with a 30-metre penalty, three minutes before the break, but Nic Berry’s knockon, from Marco Wentzel’s lineout tap gave Leicester a scrum, a few metres outside the Wasps 22. The forwards controlled the ball through several phases, before Wasps were penalised at the breakdown, and Twelvetrees landed his third penalty, to make the halftime score 16-11. They had certainly had the lion’s share of territory and possession, but had failed to find any fluency. Wasps had defended with spirit, and had emerged from the first 40 minutes with considerable credit.

Wasps began the second half well, when Tinus du Plessis gathered a clearance kick, just inside his own half. He ran infield, and exploited a gap in the defence, to make twenty metres. The ball was recycled quickly, and Ryan Davis sent a well-judged chip into the corner. Horacio Agulla went back to gather the bouncing ball, but Tom Varndell drove him back towards the line, and the home side did well to retain possession and clear.

Wasps kept up the pressure, and a quickly taken free kick, from a scrum, set up a good position, which was lost, through a knockon , a few metres from the line. They then produced their best sustained attack of the game, after excellent work by Jonathan Poff, but were unable to find a way through.

Wasps made their first substitution, when Chris Mayor came on for Richard Haughton, who had been limping for some time. Leicester then stepped up a gear, and their first sustained attack stretched the Wasps defence, before they won a penalty inside the 22. Twelvetrees landed an easy kick, to make the score 19-11, after twelve minutes of the second half.

Joe Simpson then took the place of Nic Berry, as Wasps continued to produce some good rugby, but more than one promising position was squandered by offences at the breakdown, inside the home 22.

As the game entered the final quarter, Wasps were reduced to 14 men, when Tim Payne was shown a yellow card for an offence which gave Twelvetrees the chance to land another penalty, from 45 metres.

Jack Wallace was the next Wasps replacement, when Tom Varndell limped from the action. Within seconds of his arrival, it took a superb tackle by Elliot Daly to prevent what looked like a certain try for Anthony Allen, near the left corner.

Daly then showed his attacking skill when he slipped through a tackle, to break away down the right. He sent a pass infield, but it went straight to Allen.
With Tim Payne still in the sin bin, Bob Baker came on for Tinus Du Plessis, at the next scrum. Tigers remained camped in Wasps territory, and the pressure finally told, when Twelvetrees went over between the posts, for his second try, eight minutes from time. He added the simple conversion to stretch the score to 29-11.

Wasps then brought on all their remaining replacements for the last few minutes of the game, but they were unable to snatch a consolation score.
European rugby now takes centre stage for the next two weeks. London Wasps travel to Rovigo next week, before returning to Adams Park, to face Begles-Bordeaux in their final Amlin Challenge Cup pool game, on Sunday, January the 22nd

Wasps team: 15 Hugo Southwell 14 Tom Varndell 13 Elliot Daly 12 Riki Flutey 11 Richard Haughton 10 Ryan Davis
9 Nic Berry 1 Tim Payne 2 Rob Webber 3 Ben Broster 4 Richard Birkett 5 Marco Wentzel (c) 6 Tinus Du Plessis
7 Jonathan Poff 8 Sam Jones
Replacements 16 Tom Lindsay 17 Bob Baker 18 Jeremy Castex 19 Mike Powell 20 Matt Everard 21 Joe Simpson 22 Jack Wallace
23 Chris Mayor

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (c)14 Horacio Agulla 13 Matt Smith 12 Anthony Allen 11 Alesana Tuilagi
10 Billy Twelvetrees 9 Ben Youngs 1 Boris Stankovich 2 George Chuter 3 Dan Cole 4 Steve Mafi 5 Geoff Parling 6 Tom Croft 7 Julian Salvi 8 Thomas Waldrom
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins 17 Julian White 18 Logoviii Mulipola 19 Ed Slater 20 Ben Woods 21 Sam Harrison
22 Jeremy Staunton 23 Scott Hamilton