Leicester Tigers took two bonus points from a 33-31 defeat against Wasps in Round 4 of the Premiership Shield on Monday evening.
Hosted at Leicester Lions’ Westleigh Park home, the Development XV claimed tries from Jake Kerr, Joe Heyes, Jack van Poortvliet and Kyran Bungaroo but two late scores from Wasps sealed victory for the visitors.
It was Wasps who opened the scoring with just a handful of minutes of played when wing Tom Bacon capitalised on loose ball in the Tigers backline to break through for a try converted by Billy Searle.
But Tigers responded with a score for Kerr as the forwards first took play 25 metres upfield with a driving maul and then finished from a lineout drive after Wasps lock Theo Vukasinovic had been yellow-carded in trying to stop the initial surge. Johnny McPhillips kicked the first of his four conversions to level the scores.
Wasps led again on 15 minutes when hooker Gabriel Oghre dotted down from a lineout drive and, after a kick in behind the visitors’ defence had just evaded Freddie Steward’s reach, Tigers tied the scores at 14-14 when McPhillips converted a score from Heyes under the posts following some composed work from the forward pack.
Tigers went in front for the first time just four minutes later when scrum-half Van Poortvliet got the decisive touch to a chip from Bungaroo on the right and the conversion made it 21-14.
Some strong defence through a series of Wasps phases kept that lead intact to the break but replacement prop Biyo Alo forced his way over the Tigers line for the opening points after the restart and Searle’s conversion tied the scores once again.
Just two minutes later, though, Bungaroo grabbed the bonus-point score for Tigers, intercepting a Wasps pass on his own five-metre line and running the length of the field to go in at the right-hand corner. McPhillips added an immaculate kick from the touchline for a seven-point lead again and soon added a penalty to make that gap into double digits.
But penalties started adding up against Tigers in the closing stages, allowing Wasps to build pressure near the tryline which was rewarded with close-range scores from front-rowers Zac Nearchou and Oghre to finally take the spoils.