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Tigers make it three from three with win over Wasps

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Leicester Tigers made it three wins from three at the start of the Aviva Premiership season with a 24-16 victory over new neighbours Wasps.

Tigers scored a try in each half against the Coventry side to extend their unbeaten run at Welford Road to ten games.
 
Vereniki Goneva scored the opening try in the first half, adding the finish to a move that began with his own break from inside the Tigers half.
 
Replacement winger Telusa Veainu, making his Leicester debut, dived in for the second try in the second period as Tigers moved up to second in the Aviva Premiership table.
 
Wasps scored a late consolation try through Lorenzo Cittadini but they headed back down the M69 without any match points.
 
Opeti Fonua made his first Aviva Premiership start after his summer move while England prop Dan Cole made his first post-World Cup start. He was joined in the front row by Tom Youngs and Fraser Balmain.
 
New arrivals Veainu and Jono Kitto were included in a matchday squad for the first time. They were joined on the replacements’ bench by summer signing Dom Barrow, who recovered from injury to take his place in a match squad for the first time, and by Jordan Crane, who made his comeback from a knee injury.
 
A brilliant break by Vereniki Goneva had the Welford Road crowd in full voice early in the contest. He sold Christian Wade a dummy and then made 40m into the Wasps 22. It looked like the position had gone when Jimmy Gopperth intercepted a pass 10m from the line but, under pressure, he missed his kick and Goneva swooped again, this time breaking a tackle to score next to the posts.
 
It was Goneva’s 25th try for Tigers and was converted by Owen Williams.
 
Wasps were forced into a change before the restart, their loosehead prop Matt Mullan came off through injury to be replaced by former Tigers man Tom Bristow.
 
Dan Robson was put under pressure from the Tigers back-rowers as he tried to clear up scrappy possession at a ruck, but Tigers were whistled for coming in at the side and Gopperth kicked the visitors’ first points.
 
George Smith, the former Australia international, infringed at a ruck on halfway but Owen Williams’s kick struck the right-hand post and Wasps cleared.
 
Smith was pinged for a second ruck offence inside two minutes for coming in at the side. This time, from 30m out, Williams restored Leicester’s seven-point lead.
 
Smith was given a warning by referee Tim Wigglesworth when he gave away a third penalty, this time for not rolling. Williams was on the mark to move Leicester 13-3 ahead after 20 minutes.
 
Goneva’s dancing feet on his own line took him past Frank Halai and sparked a counterattack. However, Betham’s kick ahead was misdirected and Gopperth mopped up the danger.
 
Instead, Tigers infringed at a scrum on halfway and Gopperth landed his kick to leave Leicester 13-6 ahead 15 minutes before the break.
 
Moments later, Harrison was alert to Wade’s break through the middle but was then whistled for filing to roll and Gopperth landed his third penalty.
 
Wasps were on top at this stage and claimed a try when James Downey crossed at the right corner but play was brought back for a block by Halai on Owen Williams.
 
The visitors threatened again as Wade broke through in midfield. He was scragged by Mike Williams but managed to get his pass away but, with Tigers stretched, the final ball evaded Halai into touch.
 
Lachlan McCaffrey then intercepted a ball no his 22. His boot ahead was poorly dealt with by Jackson his 22 and as Tigers poured forward, they were awarded the scrum put-in. However, Tigers were unable to secure possession and were pinged as the set-piece broke up.
 
Betham’s smart break almost created the breakthrough with half-time approaching. Fonua maintained the momentum, but good work by Smith on the floor drew the penalty.
 
Tigers led 13-9 at the break.
 
The second-half was slow to get going as both No8s received periods of treatment. Indeed, Nathan Hughes was hurt in a tackle by Mike Williams and was replaced by Guy Thompson.
 
A move off the back a scrum almost put Adam Thompstone away down the right but he was stopped by last-man Jackson.
 
It was Thompstone’s last contribution, the winger replaced by Veainu for his debut, while Crane replaced Fonua.
 
Owen Williams then raced back to tackle no Elliot Daly, as the Wasps centre threatened to run the length of the field, and then scooped up the loose ball as Daly offloaded.
 
The fly-half was called on again, this time for a kick at goal as Wasps infringed at the breakdown. And he was right on target to move Leicester 16-9 ahead after 49 minutes.
 
Leicester were no top in the third quarter and good work by Harrison created space for McCaffrey but he was unable to gather and Halai tidied.
 
Gopperth went to the bin on 54 minutes after he clattered into Tait as he fielded a ball ion front of the Terrace. Gopperth appeared to lead with his arm but referee Wigglesworth, after consulting his TMO, opted for a yellow card with the Terrace calling for a red.
 
Kitto came on for his debut moments later, replacing Harrison at scrum-half.
 
His first contribution was to angle a run across the Wasps defence and loop a pass to the wide channel for Mike Williams to barrel towards the line. Quick hands from Kitto and then Crane gave Veainu the space to dive in for Leicester’s second try.
 
It went unconverted as Tigers led 21-9 with 18 minutes left.
 
Tigers had Wasps rattled, underlined by Jackson spilling a simple catch without a Tigers player near him.
 
Leicester then staged a stirring defensive set, led by Betham’s huge hit on Daly, which ended with Tigers winning the penalty.
 
Barrow came on for Mike Williams for the last 14 minutes.
 
Tigers won a soft penalty when an offsied Gopperth pounced on Joe Simpson’s knock-on and Owen Williams landed a simple kick to go 24-9 up. Williams and Tom Youngs were replaced by Seremaia Bai and Greg Batemen for the closing stages.
 
Props Cole and Balmain came off to a huge ovation as they were replaced by Tiziano Pasquali and Riccard Brugnara.
 
Tigers were forced to defend a 5m lineout. Wasps drove Haskell over the line but Tigers had bodies underneath. And when Wasps tried to attack from the resulting scrum, they were pinged for going off their feet.
 
But Tigers were unable to clear their lines and Wasps took full advantage to score with three minutes left.  Their replacement tighthead prop Lorenzo Cittadini burrowed over from close range for a late consolation try converted by Jackson.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 13-9 WAS

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 24-16 WAS

Attendance

19,746

Referee

Tim Wigglesworth

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
24

Full Time

Wasps
Wasps
16

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Possession
52%
48%
Territory
53%
47%
Penalties Conceded
10
13
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
101/125 81%
115/136 85%
Scrums Won
5/7 71%
8/8 100%
Lineouts Won
10/10 0%
9/9 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14
13Peter Betham
12
111T
101C4P
9
1Fraser Balmain
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Mike Williams
5
6
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8
16Greg Bateman
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Tiziano Pasquali
19
20
21Jono Kitto
22Seremaia Bai
23Telusa Veainu1T

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Peter Betham
13
Peter Betham
11
10
Fraser Balmain
1
Fraser Balmain
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
8

Subs

Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
19
20
Jono Kitto
21
Jono Kitto
Seremaia Bai
22
Seremaia Bai

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
13
12
James Downey
11
10
Jimmy Gopperth
9
Dan Robson
1
2
Carlo Festuccia
3
Jake Cooper-Woolley
4
Joe Launchbury
5
6
7
8
Nathan Hughes

Subs

16
17
18
Lorenzo Cittadini
19
Bradley Davies
20
21
Joe Simpson
22
Alex Lozowski
23
Sailosi Tagicakibau
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Wasps
WaspsWAS22150759839720171429372
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
Form Guide
Form
LWLWL
Last Match
Lost to Bristol Bears 3-17
Past Meeting
Won 27-8
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLWLL
Last Match
Lost to London Irish 10-16
Past Meeting
Lost 8-27