Miller and Bassett try-doubles take Wasps to thrilling Anglo-Welsh win

Sparked by two tries apiece from Rob Miller and Josh Bassett, Wasps rounded off their Anglo-Welsh campaign with an entertaining eight-try win over defending champions Leicester.

50 - 28
Wasps Leicester Tigers

Sun 4th February 2018
1:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Anglo-Welsh Cup As it happened

The home side scored four tries in each half to deliver a fifth consecutive Ricoh Arena success in all competitions against their Midlands rivals.

Since Wasps' interest in this year's cross-border competiton ended last week, the result was academic, but nonetheless the performance will send Dai Young's team back to Aviva Premiership action in good heart.

After surviving early home pressure, Leicester almost claimed the opening score through Harry Simmons who dived over from close-range after a patient build-up, only to be denied by superb defence from Will Owen which prevented him from grounding the ball.

Simmons again went close from the ensuing scrum and eventually the continued pressure told, and Luke Hamilton forced his way over near the posts following a strong run by skipper Matt Smith. George Worth added the conversion.

Wasps responded two minutes later, when Marcus Watson cut between two defenders for a try, after the forwards had rumbled their way to the line following a lineout just outside the 22.

A second home try came two minutes later after the hosts stole a Tigers lineout near their own line. Quick passing sent Watson streaking away down the left. The movement broke down on the Leicester 22, but Jack Willis won quick ball and Owen’s superb offload sent Rob Miller over. Umaga landed a magnificent conversion to give his side a 12-7 lead.

With Leicester threatening on the left, Owain James’ timely interception then launched a counter-attack which ended with Miller jinking through the defence for his second try, which Umaga upgraded from in front of the posts.

The bonus point came on 27 minutes, after Willis’s rampaging run took the hosts deep into Tigers territory. Although Tommy Taylor was stopped on the line, Marcus Garratt went over and Umaga’s conversion took the score to 26-7.

However, the visitors promptly struck back through a series of powerful forward carries which sent Simmons over for a try which Worth improved.

Almost from the restart, Garratt was sent to the bin for a tip tackle on Smith and within a minute visiting No.9 Simmons slipped through two tackles to go between the posts.

Worth’s conversion narrowed the gap to five points, which meant half time came with Wasps holding a 26-21 lead.

A half-time change saw Bassett making a welcome return from injury, with Watson giving way. Three minutes after the restart, Sam Spink’s delightful offload set up the chance for James to go over in the right corner, but Miller’s deflection to the winger went forward and the score was ruled out.

Two minutes later, with Garratt back from the bin, Miller’s perfectly angled run split the defence and James Seabrook’s fine offload sent skipper Craig Hampson in for Wasps’ fifth try, again converted by Umaga.

Try number six came on 62 minutes after Joe Simpson switched the direction of a sustained attack and Umaga slipped through a gap to cross the line, before converting his own score.

The visitors came back with their own bonus-point score from Jonah Holmes, following an astute chip by replacement scrum-half Will Yarnell. Worth’s conversion made it 40-28 with 14 minutes to play.

With Wasps having used all their replacements, they were forced to play the last 12 minutes with only 14 men after lock Guy Borrowdale limped from the field. They immediately made light of their numerical disadvantage when Umaga’s long pass found Bassett, who went over in the left corner.

Four minutes from time, the home side lost another player when Seabrook was shown a yellow card.

But Leicester promptly lost Yarnell to the bin and Bassett added his second score, this time from short-range, to bring up the half-century and round off a highly entertaining afternoon.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Tom West
  2. Tommy Taylor
  3. Will Stuart
  4. Marcus Garratt
  5. Will Rowlands
  6. Will Owen
  7. James Seabrook
  8. Jack Willis
  9. Craig Hampson
  10. Jacob Umaga
  11. Marcus Watson
  12. Sam Spink
  13. Brendan Macken
  14. Owain James
  15. Rob Miller
  16. TJ Harris
  17. George Thornton
  18. James Higgins
  19. Guy Borrowdale
  20. Andy Saull
  21. Joe Simpson
  22. Cameron Anderson
  23. Josh Bassett

Leicester Tigers Line ups

  1. Michele Rizzo
  2. Jake Kerr
  3. Chris Baumann
  4. Cameron Jordan
  5. Joe Maksymiw
  6. Luke Hamilton
  7. Adam Batt
  8. Fred Tuilagi
  9. Harry Simmons
  10. George Worth
  11. Jonah Holmes
  12. Charlie Thacker
  13. Matt Smith
  14. Tom Brady
  15. Declan Cusack
  16. Jimmy Stevens
  17. Facundo Gigena
  18. Ben Betts
  19. Charlie Pozniak
  20. Henri Lavin
  21. Will Yarnell
  22. Sam Wager
  23. Mathew Tait