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14-men Tigers in herioc win at Wasps

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14-men Leicester Tigers produced a performance of stunning grit and determination to beat Wasps 26-21 on their first-ever visit to the Ricoh Arena.

Tigers centre Seremaia Bai was shown a red card just before half-time of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Tigers leading 18-9.
 
But Tigers dug deep, outscoring their opponents by three tries to none, including the match-clincher by Adam Thompstone in the final 10 minutes, to move third in the table with one round to go.
 
Niall Morris opened the scoring in front of a capacity crowd in Coventry after just eight minutes, holding off two tackles to score on the left before Freddie Burns' quick hands put Vereniki Goneva in at the same corner for the second try.

Andy Goode’s penalties kept Wasps in contention until Bai’s red card.
 
Tigers stood firm in the face of intense pressure after the break and scored the only try of the second period, Thompstone reacting smartly to finish at the right corner after Christian Loamanu's run came up just short one phase earlier.
 
Tigers welcomed back club captain Ed Slater and prop Marcos Ayerza after injury, the pair taking their places on the bench.
 
Dan Cole returned to the front row after being rested for the win over London Welsh and Geoff Parling was named in the back row alongside Julian Salvi and Jordan Crane.

Bai started alongside Mathew Tait in midfield and Goneva returned after suspension. There was a place for Loamanu among the replacements on his return from injury.
 
James Haskell, the Wasps captain, made his 150th appearance for the club.
 
Tigers began well, with Tait finding a good touch from the kick-off and the forwards stealing possession at the lineout. Tigers were then awarded a penalty as Wasps defenders were slow to get onside and Burns kicked the visitors into a 3-0 lead.
 
Burns then dummied a kick from inside his own 22 looking to launch a counterattack. Crane and Tom Youngs took Tigers into the Wasps half where Seremaia Bai knocked-on in the tackle.

It was all Tigers in the opening exchanges and they made huge inroads when Tom Youngs' and Graham Kitchener combined on a short lineout which allowed the hooker to gallop up the right flank. Crane and Logovi'i Mulipola maintained the momentum before Goneva found Morris on the left, where the full-back held off Christian Wade and Haskell to dot down.

Burns landed the conversion to give Tigers a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.
 
Bai was ruled offside as he looked to pressure Joe Simpson at a ruck. Goode, the former Tigers fly-half, landed his kick to put Wasps’ first points on the board.
 
Alapeti Leiua then launched a counterattack for the hosts that was stopped on the left by Thompstone before Tait collected Nathan Hughes’ wild pass on the opposite flank and found touch.
 
Goneva pounced on loose possession and hacked into the Wasps half where Andrea Masi dropped onto the ball. Tigers flooded over him forcing Masi to play the ball on the floor and concede the penalty. Burns landed the kick to move Tigers 13-3 ahead.
 
Tigers came under huge pressure on their own 22 midway through the half but the defence stood firm to repel Sailosi Tagicakibau, Leiua and Hughes. Tigers were eventually whistled for killing the ball and Goode cut the lead to 13-6.

Jamie Gibson replaced Parling after 20 minutes.
 
At the other end Tigers made their next period of possession and territory count, going over for their second try. Bai and Brad Thorn punched a hole into the heart of the Wasps defence and with their defenders scrambling to recover, Burns' quick hands gave Goneva a clear run to the left corner. Unconverted it gave Tigers an 18-6 lead.
 
Goode cut the lead by three points after Tigers were whistled at a breakdown.
 
And Tigers went down to 14 men four minutes before the break when Bai was shown a yellow card for a charge on Hughes at a ruck. Referee Wayne Barnes then consulted his television match official before he changed the card to red and sent off the Fiji international. Goode landed the penalty from halfway to leave Leicester 18-12 ahead at half-time.
 
Tigers conceded a penalty at the first scrum of the second half and Jamie Gibson was pinged for pulling down the catcher at the resulting lineout but Goode pulled a simple kick across the posts.
 
Thompstone was then alert to Goode’s grubber kick, coming across from the left flank to dot down in-goal ahead of Elliot Daly.
 
Ayerza was introduced for Mulipola after 50 minutes.
 
Burns got the better of Goode at an exchange of kicks, giving Tigers a lineout 25m out. Tigers set up the drive. Referee Barnes signalled for a penalty for Lorenzo Cittadini coming in at the side before he blew for Ashley Johnson going off his feet seconds later. Burns landed his penalty from in front of the posts to put Tigers 21-12 ahead.
 
Tigers were pinged in their own half for holding onto the ball in the tackle and Goode landed the penalty to leave Tigers 21-15 ahead with 22 minutes remaining.
 
Leonardo Ghiraldini then replaced Tom Youngs at hooker before Slater made his first appearance of the season for Thorn. Sam Harrison came on for Ben Youngs.
 
Tigers turned over a scrum against the head and then won a penalty at the reset, and the masses of travelling Tigers supporters responded from the stands.
 
It then needed a brilliant scrambled tackle by Tait to halt Hughes, just as the No8 looked to have found a gap inside the Tigers 22. However, play was pulled back for an earlier infringement and Goode’s kick left Tigers 21-18 ahead with 14 minutes to go.
 
Loamanu came on for Tait, and the Japan international had a huge impact in the closing moments.
 
First, excellent work by Salvi won a turnover to ease the pressure as Wasps looked to make headway from the restart.
 
It proved a telling intervention as Tigers took play to the other end for their third try. Loamanu injected the impetus and rolled out of a couple of tackles to reach for the line. He was just short but managed to keep the ball alive, Burns stepped into the line and found Thompstone to score at the right corner. Referee Barnes consulted his TMO before awarding the score, which gave Tigers a 26-18 lead with seven minutes left.
 
At this stage, with Tigers more than a score ahead, the visitors fanned defenders across the pitch, made their tackles and opted not to compete at the breakdown.
 
But Wasps got themselves back to within a score when Alex Lozowski, on as a second-half replacement, landed a penalty from halfway to set up a nail-biting finale.
 
Tigers were awarded a scrum 30m from the Wasps line with two minutes remaining, but Wasps won the penalty, giving them a lineout in Tigers territory as the clock ticked into the final minute.
 
But Tigers held firm with Ayerza making a huge tackle on Haskell with time up, forcing the England international into a knock-on to bring a tense game to an end.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

WAS 12-18 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

WAS 21-26 LEI

Attendance

32,019

Referee

Wayne Barnes

Match Stats

Wasps
Leicester Tigers
Possession
52%
48%
Territory
52%
48%
Penalties Conceded
8
15
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
1
Tackles Won
108/122 89%
151/170 89%
Scrums Won
3/3 100%
3/4 75%
Lineouts Won
13/13 0%
11/11 0%

Player Stats

Wasps
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Niall Morris1T
14Adam Thompstone1T
13
12Seremaia Bai
11Vereniki Goneva1T
10Freddie Burns1C3P
9Ben Youngs
1Logovi'i Mulipola
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4
5Graham Kitchener
6Geoff Parling
7Julian Salvi
8Jordan Crane
16Leonardo Ghiraldini
17Marcos Ayerza
18Fraser Balmain
19Ed Slater
20Jamie Gibson
21Sam Harrison
22Tommy Bell
23Christian Loamanu
Wasps
Wasps
21

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
26

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Niall Morris
15
Niall Morris
Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
Freddie Burns
10
Freddie Burns
4
Geoff Parling
6
Geoff Parling
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
Jordan Crane
8
Jordan Crane

Subs

Leonardo Ghiraldini
16
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Marcos Ayerza
17
Marcos Ayerza
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Ed Slater
19
Ed Slater
Jamie Gibson
20
Jamie Gibson
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
Christian Loamanu
23
Christian Loamanu

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Andrea Masi
14
13
Elliot Daly
12
Alapati Leiua
11
Sailosi Tagicakibau
10
Andy Goode
9
Joe Simpson
1
2
Carlo Festuccia
3
Lorenzo Cittadini
4
James Gaskell
5
Kearnan Myall
6
Ashley Johnson
7
James Haskell
8
Nathan Hughes

Subs

16
Tom Lindsay
17
Simon McIntyre
18
Will Taylor
19
Joe Launchbury
20
Guy Thompson
21
Charlie Davies
22
Alex Lozowski
23
Rob Miller
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
6
Wasps
WaspsWAS22112967252714577549461
Form Guide
Form
WLLWL
Last Match
Lost to Exeter Chiefs 3-38
Past Meeting
Lost 14-19
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWWL
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints 13-36
Past Meeting
Won 19-14