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Tigers go down to defeat away to Wasps

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Leicester Tigers returned home from Coventry's Ricoh Arena empty-handed after losing 36-24 to Wasps on Saturday afternoon.

Tigers scored three tries in defeat but despite heavy late pressure, were unable to score the try that would have given them try and losing bonus points.
 
Instead, Wasps scored three tries in 16 minutes either side of half-time to secure their bonus point and, effectively, the game. Charles Piutau was at the heart of things for Wasps, scoring two tries, while Christian Wade, Frank Halai and Nathan Hughes also scored.
 
Tigers threatened to take two match points out of the game when Telusa Veainu’s try was added to four minutes from time by Vereniki Goneva.
 
But they were unable to make late pressure pay as Wasps saw out the win to move above Tigers in the Aviva Premiership table.
 
Mathew Tait and Matt Smith returned to the Tigers line-up. Tait replaced Tommy Bell at full-back while Smith came in for Manu Tuilagi, who was away on Six Nations duty with England. Tigers made one change among the replacements, where on-loan prop Ellis Genge was included in the matchday squad for a first time.
 
Ashley Johnson, the Wasps hooker, made his 100th appearance for the club.
 
Wasps were the first to show with a break by Charles Piutau that took the hosts from their half up to the Leicester 22. Jono Kitto got back to make the tackle but Goneva was pinged as he tried to come through and Gopperth kicked Wasps into a 3-0 lead.
 
Wasps extended their lead after nine minutes through the game’s first try. It took three defenders to halt Johnson’s run and Tigers were unable to realign when Charles Piutau received the ball at the next phase, and he burrowed his way past a couple of tacklers to dot down.
 
Tigers settled with a period of possession 30m from the Wasps line, but they were unable to break down a solid defence and the hosts eventually forced a turnover as Charles Piutau came through to steal possession.
 
Tigers were awarded a penalty at their first scrum put-in as Jake Cooper-Woolley was pinged for driving on an angle, and Burns landed his kick to put Leicester’s first points on the board.
 
And they had their first try moments later. Christian Wade was under pressure from Mike Fitzgerald as he fielded Kitto’s kick, which forced the hurried pass and Betham intercepted 20m out to score under the posts. Burns’s conversion gave Leicester a 10-8 lead.
 
Wasps hit back immediately. They had the advantage of a penalty when Gopperth launched a kick to the right-hand corner where Wade beat Goneva to the ball to score. Gopperth added the extras to give Wasps a 15-10 lead after 26 minutes.
 
Tigers were undone moments later as a Wasps lineout provided the platform for Siale Piutau to attak through the midfield before giving brother Charles a run to the line. Gopperth’s extras gave Wasps a 22-10 lead.
 
Gopperth missed a simple penalty opportunity to extend the hosts’ lead further two minutes before the break.
 
Tigers responded by pumping a penalty of their own into the Wasps 22 with 60 seconds left on the clock. Fitzgerald secured possession and first Thacker and then Logovi’i Mulipola tested the Wasps defence before lovely hands by Matt Smith found Adam Thompstone on the right. The winger had plenty to do but forced his way through two tacklers and over at the corner. However, referee Garner consulted his television match official before ruling out the score for a forward pass by Smith.
 
It proved a huge moment as Wasps flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half to score a bonus-point try through wing Frank Halai. There seemed little danger when he received possession 30m out on the left touchline but he stepped off the flank to find a line to the posts. Gopperth converted to give Wasps a 29-10 lead.
 
Tigers replaced Thompstone, who had taken a knock, with Telusa Veainua as they looked for a quick response.
 
A lineout penalty 5m out gave them the opportunity. Slater set up the drive, Thacker peeled away before Slater was stopped just short. Tigers kept the ball alive and Tait’s over-the-head pass was picked up by Veainu who stepped inside to score. Burns’s conversion brought Tigers back to 29-17 with 30 minutes to play.
 
Tigers introduced Fraser Balmain, Mike Williams and Owen Williams for Mulipola, McCaffrey and Smith as they scented the opportunity of a bonus point.
 
But Wasps quickly ended those hopes, replacement back-rower Nathan Hughes crashing over for a fifth try for the hosts. Slick handling created the opening on the left and Hughes rose Graham Kitchener's tackle for a try that was converted by Alex Lozowski to move Wasps 36-17 ahead with 16 minutes remaining.
 
Genge came on for his Tigers debut in place of Ayerza after 63 minutes.
 
Tigers had to defend their 22 as Wasps came again. Thacker put in a big tackle on Hughes before Tait scrambled across to force Wade into touch and took a whack in the ribs for his troubles. George Tresidder came on for Tait on the wing, with Veainu moving to full-back.
 
Tigers threatened the Wasps line when Croft burst down the left touchline but his pass inside was knocked forward and Wade brought the ball clear.
 
Leicester had the last word, scoring a well-worked try through Goneva. Mike Williams’s run off the back of a lineout sucked in defenders and created the space on the left for the Fiji international to cross. Burns’s touchline conversion left Tigers 36-24 behind with three minutes left.
 
Tigers had one last opportunity to take two points from the game with a 5m lineout. The hammered away at the Wasps defence with Genge and then Fitzgerald almost finding a way through.
 
However, Kitto was tackled as he picked up the ball at the back of a ruck and Wasps gained possession to signal the end of the game.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

WAS 22-10 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

WAS 36-24 LEI

Attendance

22,241

Referee

Greg Garner

Wasps
Wasps
36

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
24

Match Stats

Wasps
Leicester Tigers
Possession
52%
48%
Territory
50%
50%
Penalties Conceded
13
5
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
104/118 88%
116/142 82%
Scrums Won
7/9 78%
4/4 100%
Lineouts Won
9/9 0%
17/17 0%

Player Stats

Wasps
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Adam Thompstone
13Peter Betham1T
12Matt Smith
11Vereniki Goneva1T
103C1P
9Jono Kitto
1Marcos Ayerza
2Harry Thacker
3Logovi'i Mulipola
4Michael Fitzgerald
5Dom Barrow
6Tom Croft
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8Ed Slater
16
17Ellis Genge
18Fraser Balmain
19Graham Kitchener
20Mike Williams
21George Tresidder
22Owen Williams
23Telusa Veainu1T

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Peter Betham
13
Peter Betham
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
10
Jono Kitto
9
Jono Kitto
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Dom Barrow
5
Dom Barrow
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
Ed Slater
8
Ed Slater

Subs

16
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
George Tresidder
21
George Tresidder
Owen Williams
22
Owen Williams

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Rob Miller
14
Christian Wade
13
Charles Piutau
12
Siale Piutau
11
10
Jimmy Gopperth
9
Dan Robson
1
Simon McIntyre
2
3
Jake Cooper-Woolley
4
James Cannon
5
Kearnan Myall
6
Thomas Young
7
George Smith
8
Sam Jones

Subs

16
Ed Shervington
17
Matt Mullan
18
Phil Swainston
19
Will Rowlands
20
Nathan Hughes
21
Jamie Stevenson
22
Alex Lozowski
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Wasps
WaspsWAS22150759839720171429372
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
Form Guide
Form
LWLWL
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 31-38
Past Meeting
Lost 31-38
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 38-31