Two tries from captain Will Evans set Leicester Tigers on the way to a 24-13 victory over Wasps ‘A’ in the Premiership Shield at Welford Road on Monday evening.
Fly-half Joe Ford scored the other points, including a second-half try as Tigers came from 7-0 down early to record a first win of the season in the second-strong competition.
Wasps grabbed an opening try in the 12th minute but skipper Evans dotted down from a forward drive to level the scores before two penalties from Jacob Umaga gave the visitors a 7-13 lead at the break.
Evans added his second soon after the restart as Tigers finally got in front at 14-13 and Ford finished an enterprising break from Charlie Thacker to stretch that advantage.
As well as Evans, the Tigers XV included Valentino Mapapalangi in the second row and Under-20s internationals Tommy Reffell, Sam Lewis, Joe Heyes and Tom Hardwick as well as academy graduates Owen Hills, Thom Smith and Thacker alongside summer signing Sam Aspland-Robinson.
There was an early escape when Aspland-Robinson was forced to scramble back and dot down behind his own line, but the Tigers pack stood up to the five-metre scrum and earned a penalty to clear their lines.
The first points of the evening came on 12 minutes with Wasps prop Tom West capitalising on loose defence at a ruck to score to the right of the posts and Umaga added the conversion to put them seven points in front.
Moments later Umaga took on a penalty from halfway but saw his low kick come back off the face of the crossbar and Ford kicked clear.
Another scrum on the Tigers 22 ended with a penalty for the hosts and, after a third set-piece penalty on 21 minutes, referee Dan Parrott spoke to the visiting front row.
Evans got his first touchdown in the left-hand corner from a lineout drive and Ford added the conversion to level the scores.
A strong run on the right by Aspland-Robinson gave Tigers more valuable territory and Kwaku Asiedu almost got free on the left before being tackled into touch 10 metres out.
Thacker then showed his pace in defence, giving Josh Grimes the outside line and then taking the full-back into touch with a low tackle on the Tigers 22.
Umaga added a three-pointer after the Tigers pack had been whistled during a big push at a scrum and he added a second after Ford was yellow-carded for offside as he rushed out of the defensive line close to the posts to give the visitors a six-point lead at the break.
Tigers took the lead for the first time when Evans scored again, capitalising on a drive in the right-hand corner. Hardwick took on the conversion kick with Ford in the sin bin and he judged it well to make it 14-13.
Ford returned at the restart and his hack ahead took Tigers back on the attack and his side enjoyed a goof spell of field position, driving strongly again from a lineout to stay in their rivals 22 until the fly-half added the third try on 52 minutes, latching on to a break from Thacker to score next to the right-hand post. He added the conversion to take the lead out to eight points.
There was still work to do in defence, though, with Mapapalangi’s lineout steal keeping Wasps out and then Adsiedu chasing back to gather a crosskick from Umaga as Jake Sharp chased for the visitors.
Ford stretched the lead with a penalty from 40 metres with little more than five minutes left on the clock and some strong phases of defence kept the line intact as Tigers closed out the win.