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Late Williams penalty wins it for Tigers

Figure image

Owen Williams' nerveless penalty two minutes from time gave Leicester Tigers a hard-earned 18-16 Aviva Premiership victory over Wasps at Welford Road on Saturday afternoon.

Williams enjoyed a 100 per cent record with the boot, landing six penalties from six attempts, as Tigers twice came from behind in the second-half to extend their record to just one defeat in their last 11 home Aviva Premiership games.

Williams kicked three first-half penalties as Tigers led 9-3 at the break. But Alapati Leiua's chargedown try at the start of the second period gave Wasps the advantage for the first time in the game.

The lead changed hands two more times as Williams and opposite number Andy Goode traded penalties before Williams' decisive kick two minutes from time secured the four points.

Williams took over from Freddie Burns at fly-half for Tigers, who made a late change to their matchday squad replacing Tom Croft, who was awaiting the birth of his first child, with Sebastian de Chaves.

Tom Youngs made his first appearance since the Round 3 defeat at Bath after recovering from injury, while Tigers also welcomed back Leonardo Ghiraldini, Vereniki Goneva and Marcos Ayerza from autumn international duty. Laurence Pearce made his first Aviva Premiership start at No8.

Wasps included former Tigers backs Goode and Tom Varndell in their starting XV.

Goode's clever kick had Tigers under early pressure close to their line. Youngs picked out Kitchener in the lineout before Salvi had the ball knocked out of his grasp and Alapeti Leiua grabbed the loose ball to cross the line. However, referee Luke Pearce ruled Kitchener was pulled down in the lineout and disallowed the score.

Tigers had Wasps under pressure at the first scrum, winning a penalty which allowed Williams to kick them into opposition territory for the first time.

Simon McIntyre's high tackle on Mathew Tait gave Tigers the first attempt on goal and Williams landed his kick from halfway to give Tigers a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes.

The second scrum brought a second penalty for Tigers, this time on the left touchline close to halfway. And Williams was again on the mark to double Tigers' advantage with 14 minutes gone.

Guy Thompson burst onto Goode's pass inside the Tigers 22 but was stopped under the posts by Tait and Julian Salvi. Thompson then knocked on as he presented the ball to give Tigers the scrum put-in. Tigers secured possession from the set-piece and Mele found touch on the 22, despite pressure from Goode.

Tigers were pinged for Thorn's mistimed tackle on Ed Jackson and Goode put his team's first points on the board with a simple kick.

Wasps were enjoying plenty of possession and territory and Chris Bell tried to make it count with a grubber behind the defence for Sailosi Tagicakibau to chase, but Tait was alert to the danger and slid across to touch down in goal.

Tigers threatened at the other end from an attacking lineout. Benjamin, Pearce and Thorn drove Tigers on before Mele's pass picked out Benjamin on the right. He was tackled by Varndell as he dived over and referee Pearce ruled the Tigers wing knocked on as he touched down.

Tigers were now on top with Pearce's run taking them into the 22. Goneva made further yards but slow ball prevented them taking advantage. Eventually Mele's drop goal was charged down by Goode, giving Wasps the chance to counter through Bell but they knocked on just inside the Leicester half as Tigers defenders flooded back.

Tigers won a penalty at the resulting scrum and, with time up at the end of the first-half, Williams landed the kick from inside his own half to give Tigers a 9-3 lead at the break.

Wasps made a flying start to the second half, scoring from the restart. Alapati Leiua charged down Mele's kick and grabbed the rebound to score the game's first try. Goode converted to move Wasps ahead for the first time at 10-9.

Goode was then wide with a long-range penalty after Tigers were caught offside on halfway.

Ghiraldini replaced Youngs with 27 minutes remaining, and he was joined by fellow Italy internationals Michele Rizzo and Robert Barbieri, as well as scrum-half Sam Harrison, a couple of minutes later.

No8 Barbieri made a crashing run off the back of a lineout to gain plenty of territory in the Wasps half but knocked on as he went to ground.

Another scrum penalty in favour of the Tigers gave the hosts the chance to regain the lead with 18 minutes remaining. Williams landed the penalty from 40m to move Tigers 12-10 ahead.

Tigers had the momentum now and a series of phases ended with a penalty on the Wasps 22 as replacement Nathan Hughes failed to roll from the tackle. Williams made it five kicks from five to give Leicester a 15-10 lead with 14 minutes remaining.

Tigers infringed at a maul to give Goode a simple penalty which cut the Leicester lead to three points as the game headed into the final 10 minutes.

And when Wasps worked a position for Goode to drop at goal, Salvi was ruled offside as he attempted to charge down the kick giving the visitors another penalty in front of the posts. And Goode made no mistake to give Wasps a single point lead.

Tigers hit back immediately winning a penalty as Bell failed to roll at the back of a ruck. Williams kept his cool to give Tigers an 18-16 lead with less than three minutes remaining.

Determined Tigers defence prevented Wasps working another scoring position, forcing Tagicakibau into touch on the right wing. Kitchener secured the lineout and then won the penalty as Wasps pulled down the drive on the Leicester 10m line and Tigers were able to see out the clock.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 9-3 WAS

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 18-16 WAS

Attendance

21,907

Referee

Luke Pearce

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
18

Full Time

Wasps
Wasps
16

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Possession
0%
100%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
8
14
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
91/101 90%
106/114 93%
Scrums Won
10/11 91%
6/6 100%
Lineouts Won
12/12 0%
11/11 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Blaine Scully
13Vereniki Goneva
12Anthony Allen
11Miles Benjamin
10Owen Williams6P
9David Mele
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4
5Graham Kitchener
6Jamie Gibson
7Julian Salvi
8Laurence Pearce
16Leonardo Ghiraldini
17Michele Rizzo
18Fraser Balmain
19
20Robert Barbieri
21Sam Harrison
22
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Blaine Scully
14
Blaine Scully
Vereniki Goneva
13
Vereniki Goneva
Anthony Allen
12
Anthony Allen
Miles Benjamin
11
Miles Benjamin
Owen Williams
10
Owen Williams
David Mele
9
David Mele
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
4
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
Laurence Pearce
8
Laurence Pearce

Subs

Leonardo Ghiraldini
16
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
19
Robert Barbieri
20
Robert Barbieri
22

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Andrea Masi
14
Sailosi Tagicakibau
13
Alapati Leiua
12
Chris Bell
11
Tom Varndell
10
Andy Goode
9
Joe Simpson
1
Simon McIntyre
2
Ed Shervington
3
Lorenzo Cittadini
4
Bradley Davies
5
Kearnan Myall
6
Ed Jackson
7
Guy Thompson
8
Sam Jones

Subs

16
17
18
Jake Cooper-Woolley
19
James Cannon
20
Nathan Hughes
21
Charlie Davies
22
Alex Lozowski
23
Rob Miller
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
6
Wasps
WaspsWAS22112967252714577549461
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 38-31
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LWLWL
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 31-38
Past Meeting
Lost 31-38