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Report | Tigers' run ends at Wasps

Leicester Tigers suffered a first defeat of the season as they were beaten 16-13 at Wasps in Round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership season on Sunday.

A winning run which began on the same soil back in June was ended by three second-half penalties from Jimmy Gopperth, though Tigers still took one point from the game and remain on top of the table at the halfway mark in the campaign.

The run totalled 16 successive victories, including 15 in a row from the start of the season in all competitions and 11 in the league, just one short of the record achieved by Newcastle in 1997/98.

Tigers recovered from giving away a penalty try in the opening minutes – which also resulted in a yellow card for Tommy Reffell – to dominate the first half and led 13-7 following a score from Julian Montoya.

It could have been more too, with several charges up towards the tryline and George Ford missing two of his four penalty shots at goal.

But they ended the half a man down again after yellow for Ellis Genge and then found the scores level entering the last quarter after two Wasps penalties before Gopperth added the winning points with 12 minutes left on the clock in the 110th meeting of the clubs.

Genge was making his 100th appearance for Tigers, with Ollie Chessum and Jack van Poortvliet added to the starting line-up since the win over Newcastle last weekend. Jasper Wiese served the final game of his two-match suspension.

Wasps were forced into two late alterations when forwards Vaea Fifita and Tom West were ruled out by illness, providing a call-up for lock Tim Cardall and prop Robin Hislop in the starting pack. James Gaskell and Zac Nearchou were added to the bench.

After Ford got the game started, he quickly tested the Wasps back three with his kicking from hand, but it was a fortunate kick from the other end which provided a dream start for the hosts.

A clearing kick from Wasps was touched by a Tigers hand in flight, playing their retreating pack all onside near halfway. Brad Shields took play on and when hooker Tom Cruse was tackled short of the tryline and then the follow-up held up over it, referee Tom Foley checked replays before awarding a penalty try and yellow-carding Reffell for a tackle off the ball.

Tigers responded with a Ford penalty following a scrum 22 with eight minutes played.

They thought they’d done even more on 12 minutes when Harry Potter wriggled out of contact on the left and put in Jack van Poortvliet to score. But the referee had spotted an infringement in the build-up. He had been playing a penalty advantage, though, and Ford made the score 7-6 with the kick.

Ford missed his next two chances to put Tigers ahead, putting a 40-metre penalty wide and then thumping the post with a repeat on the 20-minute mark.

But Tigers, with Reffell back on the field, remained on the front foot with Potter and then Eli Snyman making indents in the defence before Wasps were able to clear the danger from well inside their own 22.

A penalty on halfway on 25 minutes finally gave Wasps an attacking platform, Jimmy Gopperth kicking to the right-hand corner. They were met with determined defence and, when Tigers were penalised again, Wasps built through a dozen phases close to the tryline before finally Dan Cole’s work over the ball was met with the referee’s whistle in his favour, to the delight of the large travelling support at the opposite end of the stadium.

Ford turned down a kick at goal on 32 minutes when Tigers got forward again, taking play instead into the right-hand corner, and it paid off with a try.

Montoya drove forward from the lineout with support from skipper Genge and then got on the ball again to score under a pile of bodies at the posts and Ford’s conversion made it 13-7 in Tigers’ favour.

A Genge surge took play up towards the line again but Tigers knocked-on as they looked to create space in the backline.

Reffell had to work hard to snuff out a counter-attack led by full-back Ali Crossdale and scrum-half Sam Wolstenholme, forcing a knock-on on the 10-metre line.

The scrum brought another Leicester penalty and a creative combination between Ford and Matt Scott in attack, but when Wasps were given a penalty at the tackle area, Genge was yellow-carded for a clash with Hougaard.

Wasps took play upfield but they remained 13-7 down when Gopperth put a penalty wide in the period’s closing action.

The hosts started the second half with more vigour with Gopperth and Charlie Atkinson trying to free the backline, and Dan Cole produced an important tackle in the corner as they threatened.

It was Cole’s last contribution as Borthwick sent on Joe Heyes, joined by Ben Youngs and Matias Moroni from the bench. But Wasps were enjoying a good spell of possession and brought the scores level with two Gopperth penalties in a three-minute spell approaching the hour mark.

Guy Porter made positive strides out of defence for Tigers and then stretched Wasps with a run down the right after Youngs had accelerated upfield on the opposite side.

But Wasps broke out of defence to gain a penalty which Gopperth slotted from the left to put them in front with just over 10 minutes left on the clock.

A miscue from Atkinson, screwing a kick infield directly to Youngs, put his side back under pressure, which increased when Crossdale knocked-on ball inside his own 22 near the touchline.

Tigers got a good shove at the scrum and then had a penalty on the opposite side when Kini Murimurivalu closed in on the tryline. They opted for a scrum in the corner, and had another whistle as the front rows popped up.

Youngs tapped and dived over the tryline but referee Foley wanted to come back for the penalty. Another whistle followed at the next scrum as Genge again called for the set-piece with Wasps under pressure.

Tigers played to the left where Chessum and then Youngs attacked the line, but just metres out, the scrum-half was penalised and Wasps could clear.

There was still time to find an opportunity for decisive points but Wasps got through their defensive duties as play remained within 30 metres of their tryline in the closing stages before a dropped ball gave them a chance to get out with the clock already on the 80-minute mark. Porter chased back to block the pass, though, to ensure that Tigers remained within losing bonus-point territory.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

WAS 6-13 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

WAS 16-13 LEI


Not available


Tom Foley


Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
115/143 80%
132/155 85%
Scrums Won
3/3 100%
10/10 100%
Lineouts Won
11/12 92%
11/12 92%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
15Freddie Steward
14Harry Potter
13Matt Scott
12Dan Kelly
11Guy Porter
10George Ford1C2P
9Jack van Poortvliet
1Ellis Genge
2Julian Montoya1T
3Dan Cole
4Calum Green
5Eli Snyman
6Harry Wells
7Tommy Reffell
8Ollie Chessum
16Charlie Clare
17James Whitcombe
18Joe Heyes
19Kini Murimurivalu
20Nic Dolly
21Ben Youngs
22Freddie Burns
23Matias Moroni



Tigers are beaten 16-13 by Wasps, with 3 Gopperth penalties in the second half earning the points for the home side.

68min | Gopperth again with a penalty to put Wasps 16-13 in front.


58in | Another Gopperth penalty makes it 13-13.

55min | Goppeth penalty for Wasps who are enjoying a decent spell in attack. Tigers lead 13-10.


Cole makes important tackle in the corner as Wasps test the Tigers defence.


Genge and Potter back on the field, Genge from yellow card and Potter swapped for Whitcombe as Tigers needed a prop.



Second half is underway, Tigers 13-7 in front.


Tigers lead 13-7 at Wasps as we reach the break with a try from Julian Montoya and the kicking of George Ford.

40min | Tigers will end the half a man down after yellow card to Genge.


Good defensive work from Tommy Reffell to snuff out a counter-attack and force an error.

And Ford adds the conversion to make it 13-7 to Tigers.


Montoya drives over the tryline under a pile of bodies. Referee thinks it is a try but wants to check...

32min | JULIAN MONTOYA is the scorer to put Tigers in front.


Big defence from Tigers to meet Wasps toe to toe just 5 five metres from the tryline. Eventually, the whistle goes and penalty to Tigers with Dan Cole over the ball.


Another chance for Ford after penalty award at the breakdown. From 40 metres out, wide on the left, the kicks thumps the posts and bounces out. Still 7-6 to Wasps.


Ford off target with a 40-metre penalty, Wasps still 7-6 in front.

13min | Denied a try, Tigers have consolation with penalty from Ford as the referee was playing with advantage. 7-6.


12min | Tigers denied a try. Good work by Harry Potter on the left wing, finds Jack van Poortvliet in support. But the referee has spotted something in the build-up and says no score.

8min | Scrum penalty for 14-man Tigers and George Ford kicks the 3 points. 7-3.

Tommy Reffell is sin-binned for the tackle incident as Wasps are awarded a penalty try. 


4min | Tommy Reffell adjudged to tackle off the ball just short of the tryline and Wasps awarded Penalty Try. They lead 7-0. Unfortunate for Tigers as the attack comes from a deflected clearing kick at the other end.


Clearing kick from Wasps is touched in flight and plays their attack onside. They outnumber Tigers who scramble back and hold up play over the tryline. Referee checking for a tackle off the ball just short of the tryline. 

KICK-OFF | Wasps v Leicester Tigers

It will be George Ford to get the game started here. Tigers are lining up from right to left as we look at it from the dugouts if that helps your mental picture. Big number of #TigersFamily here too!



After a bright start to the day, the sun has now dipped behind the stands and it's not going to get any warmer. It's a lot drier than last weekend though!



Wasps bring Tom Cruse, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Tom Willis into the forward pack and Charlie Atkinson starts at fly-half since the New Year's Day game against Sale Sharks.

They made 2 late changes with Vaea Fifita and Tom West out due to illness since Friday’s team announcement. Tim Cardall now starts at 4 and Bomber Hislop at 1. James Gaskell returns from injury to join the bench and Zac Nearchou is added as prop cover.

Wasps: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Sam Spink, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Sam Wolstenholme; 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Alfie Barbeary, 7 Brad Shields (c), 8 Tom Willis. 

Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Zac Nearchou, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Will Porter, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Rob Miller 



Ellis Genge makes his 100th appearance for Tigers, with Ollie Chessum and Jack van Poortvliet added to the starting line-up since the win over Newcastle last weekend.

Starting XV: 15 Freddie Steward [45 appearances], 14 Harry Potter [25], 13 Matt Scott [34], 12 Dan Kelly [31], 11 Guy Porter [30], 10 George Ford [117], 9 Jack van Poortvliet [32]; 1 Ellis Genge (c) [99], 2 Julián Montoya [14], 3 Dan Cole [277], 4 Calum Green [73], 5 Eli Snyman [8], 6 Harry Wells [138], 7 Tommy Reffell [60], 8 Ollie Chessum [21]

Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare [37], 17 James Whitcombe [10], 18 Joe Heyes [85], 19 Kini Murimurivalu [30], 20 Nic Dolly [13], 21 Ben Youngs [273], 22 Freddie Burns [85], 23 Matías Moroni [23]



Leicester Tigers reach the halfway mark in the Gallagher Premiership season with a 110th meeting with Wasps this afternoon.

The old rivals meet for a second time this campaign following a Premiership Cup win by Tigers at the same venue in November.

Tigers also won in Coventry in the final round of last season at the start of the team’s unbeaten run which now totals 16 games in all competitions since June 2021.

Another victory would tie the club’s all-time club record of 16 consecutive wins from the start of the season set in 1983/84 and equal the best-ever start to a Premiership season of 12 straight wins achieved by Newcastle in 1997/98.

Overall, the teams have met on 109 previous occasions with Leicester ahead 65-39 on win count and five games drawn.




Welcome to Matchday Live as Leicester Tigers make the short trip to Coventry to face Wasps in Round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership season. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Follow all the action with our Matchday Live coverage on the Tigers App and website at www.leicestertigers.com.

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Ali Crossdale
Francois Hougaard
Sam Spink
Jimmy Gopperth
Josh Bassett
Charlie Atkinson
Sam Wolstenholme
Robin Hislop
Tom Cruse
Jeff Toomaga-Allen
Tim Cardall
Elliott Stooke
Alfie Barbeary
Brad Shields
Tom Willis


Dan Frost
Zac Nearchou
Biyi Alo
James Gaskell
Thomas Young
Will Porter
Ryan Mills
Rob Miller
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI231904706442264865111390
Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Sale Sharks 7-16
Past Meeting
Won 16-13
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Newcastle Falcons 27-5
Past Meeting
Lost 13-16