Wasps clinch bonus point win against Tigers in 79th minute

Wasps clinched a pulsating encounter, in front of the largest crowd of the season, thanks to Kearnan Myall’s 79th minute try.

32 - 25
Wasps Leicester Tigers

Sat 2nd December 2017
4:30 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Aviva Premiership As it happened

The Tigers started strongly, going 10-nil up in the first 15 minutes, before Wasps fought back to lead 17-10 at the break.

Two tries from ex-Wasps academy winger Jonah Holmes then put the visitors back in front, and after the hosts inched ahead, thanks to a glorious Elliot Daly score, George Ford’s penalty set up a thrilling finish.

Wasps piled on the pressure in the closing minutes, and were finally rewarded with Myall’s try, which also clinched the bonus point which takes them to fifth place in the Premiership.

Leicester made a superb start, when Gareth Owen’s break split the home defence, then Adam Thompstone was forced into touch at the corner.

However, the referee had been playing advantage for a Wasps offence in front of the posts and Ford kicked three easy points.

The hosts responded with a flowing backs move, which sent Daly clear down the left wing after which Danny Cipriani’s grubber kick skidded dead over the rain-slickened turf.

Christian Wade then leapt high to gather Dan Robson’s box kick, only for Wasps to concede a breakdown penalty. The kick found touch inside the 22, and a series of infield forward drives later Ben Youngs sent his brother Tom over for a try near the posts. Ford converted to put his side 10-0 up after 15 minutes.

Leicester then attempted to turn the screw by twice opting for the corner rather than kicking at goal. Wade’s superb try-saving tackle stopped one move in its tracks, after which the Tigers conceded a lineout penalty. 

Wasps then opened their account with an excellent score, stemming from quick lineout possession which James Gaskell and Simon McIntyre carried hard into the visitors’ 22. Nizaam Carr cut a sensational line to go over for a try near the posts which Jimmy Gopperth upgraded.

The home side then put together a wonderful sustained passage of play, with Gaskell, Cooper-Woolley and Johnson going close before Robson stole round the blind side for a try which Gopperth again converted, to give the hosts the lead for the first time at 14-10.

Daly then stepped up to stroke over a 45 metre penalty from close to the touchline to stretch Wasps’ interval advantage to 17-10. 

Cooper-Woolley and Myall combined well soon after the restart, but when the lock was held a few metres short, Willie le Roux was unable to find his target with a long pass after superbly scooping the ball up from his toes.

The end-to-end pattern continued and when Leicester threatened, Juan de Jongh knocked on attempting an interception 35 metres out. The officials ruled it as a deliberate knock-on and Ford went for goal, but his kick bounced off the right-hand post.

Another menacing Leicester move was stopped by a well-timed tackle from Wade, but the Tigers kept up the pressure and finally created space on the left, where Valentino Mapapalangi’s offload sent Holmes to the corner.

Wasps came close to a third try, when Le Roux and Daly combined to great effect down the left, but when play then switched right Le Roux’s long pass was intercepted by Holmes, who shook off Wade’s tackle to race 70 metres for his second try.

Ford’s conversion gave Leicester a 22-17 lead, but the hosts immediately pulled back three points through a Gopperth penalty.

And they were back in front early in the final quarter with a glorious try from a lineout, created by Le Roux’s long pass to Daly who raced in from 40 metres for a magnificent score.

A frenetic passage of play almost produced a third try for Holmes, but Robson ripped the ball from his hands as he crossed the line.

However, Leicester remained camped in the home 22 and were eventually rewarded through Ford’s simple penalty, which levelled the scores at 25-all with 11 minutes remaining.

Thereafter, Wasps applied plenty of pressure, with the best chance falling to replacement Josh Bassett who was just denied by some excellent Tigers’ scramble defence. 

And with three minutes remaining, the hosts retained possession through multiple phases before Myall barged through a gap created in midfield to claim the winning score, which Gopperth again improved.

A welcome bonus point win moved Wasps up to 5th in the Aviva Premiership table.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Simon McIntyre
  2. Ashley Johnson
  3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  4. James Gaskell
  5. Kearnan Myall
  6. James Haskell
  7. Thomas Young
  8. Nizaam Carr
  9. Dan Robson
  10. Danny Cipriani
  11. Elliot Daly
  12. Jimmy Gopperth
  13. Juan de Jongh
  14. Christian Wade
  15. Willie Le Roux
  16. Nathan Charles
  17. Ben Harris
  18. Martin Moore
  19. Marcus Garratt
  20. Jack Willis
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Gabiriele Lovobalavu
  23. Josh Bassett

Leicester Tigers Line ups

  1. Ellis Genge
  2. Tom Youngs
  3. Dan Cole
  4. Michael Fitzgerald
  5. Graham Kitchener
  6. Velentino Mapapalangi
  7. Will Evans
  8. Sione Kalamafoni
  9. Ben Youngs
  10. George Ford
  11. Jonah Holmes
  12. Gareth Owen
  13. Mathew Tait
  14. Adam Thompstone
  15. Telusa Veainu
  16. Harry Thacker
  17. Kyle Traynor
  18. Logovi'i Mulipola
  19. Harry Wells
  20. Mike Williams
  21. Ben White
  22. Joe Ford
  23. Matt Smith