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Match Report

31 Mar 2002: Wasps v Leicester Tigers

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Match Report
Tigers's Badge Wasps 36
Wasps's Badge Wasps 24
Fixture Type: Zurich Premiership Venue: Loftus Road
Match Date: Sun 31 Mar 2002, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Robin Goodliffe

Wasps Tame The Pussy Cats

If you were at Loftus Rd on Sunday you would have witnessed a display of pure aggression and heart.

After 3 minutes I thought we were in real trouble as Freddie Tuilagi scored with his first touch of the ball. A month ago this would have been the start to what would have been an awful day for Wasps but now it's a different story.

Before the game the Leicester players were joking and laughing together playing football. It seemed to me that they thought all they needed to do would be just turn up and the result would be theirs. They got a very big shock.

Trevor led with a flying head butt which if connected could have earned him more that 10minutes in the bin. This really did set the scene to what was the best overall team display I have seen all season. No individual really stood out but the collective togetherness that the side showed today will put fear in any opposition when we reach the play offs.

Alex king had a splendid day with the boot, his reliable 8 iron notched up 7 penalties and 2 fine drop goals. I have said before when the king is on a roll he is very hard to stop. Today he oozed class in all aspects of his game and made Austin Healey look ordinary. Kenny also contributed with 3 well taken kicks; these were of greater distance around 40-45metres out. He obviously used his 3 iron with pinpoint accuracy, which gave the kicking duo a 100% kick rate. This proved decisive as the score kept ticking over which lead to frustration in the Leicester camp.

The whole team today were faultless in their defensive duties which cut off any pattern that Leicester were trying to impose. They lost all their composure and gave away too many penalties, which were executed with ease. Darren Garforth was also sin binned which gave us even more of an advantage at the 60min stage of the game. Steve Booth scored late on but the lads held out for a thoroughly deserved 36-24 win.

This was Lawrence's first start of the season and to everyone's delight he lasted the full 80min. For me his presence alone on the field is a major factor as everyone just got on with their jobs. Ian Jones never spoke to the ref once, which must be a first and Joe Worsley was given the job to tackle people and that's what he did. The decision making process was removed from his shoulders which I felt enhanced his performance, as he had nothing else to think about apart from hitting people. Big Lol had a quiet game for his standards but his leadership is just fantastic.

Warren and Shaun have worked very hard over the last two weeks and I feel they have installed a sense of pride and honesty back into our game. Every player is trying to impress the boss and healthy competition for places is now apparent as players are returning from injury. Warren has also brought an edge of 'fear factor' as he is a coach who is honest and up front. If you are playing badly he will tell you face to face, which as a player you respect. This is very much from the school of Jon Mitchell who we as a club have much to thank for.

Today I feel is the start of a new era for the club and over the next few weeks London Wasps will be the place to watch quality rugby.

Peter Scrivener