Premiership: Leicester Tigers 18-16 Wasps

Owen Williams
Leicester fly-half Owen Williams kicked six penalties as his side beat Wasps
Leicester Tigers: (9) 18
Pens: Williams 6
Wasps: (3) 16
Tries: Leiua Cons: Goode Pens: Goode 3

Owen Williams's kicking saw Leicester beat Wasps to stay in touch with the Premiership play-off places.

Tigers led 9-3 at half-time after a disjointed first period through three penalties from fly-half Williams and one from Wasps' Andy Goode.

Alapati Leiua charged down a kick to score the game's opening try and Goode's conversion gave Wasps the lead.

Williams and Goode traded kicks as the lead swapped hands a number of times but it was the Tigers who hung on.

Two teams with a rich history of success in the Premiership were both looking for victory to keep pace with this season's top four.

But Williams' 100% record from the tee meant Leicester stay in fifth, while Wasps' wait for a first away win in the league this season continues.

The home side took the lead when Williams punished visiting prop Simon McIntyre for a high tackle on Mathew Tait, before adding a second penalty shortly after.

Former Welford Road favourite Goode struck back with a kick of his own, but it was a rather dour first half, punctuated more by injury than scoring incident.

Miles Benjamin came closest to an opening try, but he was denied by the television match official, who ruled that the Tigers winger lost control of the ball under Tom Varndell's challenge as he looked to touch down.

Leicester pressed, but Wasps repelled wave after wave of attack and the only other score of the half came courtesy of Williams' boot with an effort from inside his own half.

Within seconds of the restart, David Mele's attempted clearance kick was charged down by Leiua, who followed up to score and Goode added the extras to give Wasps the lead for the first time.

The Tigers replied through two Williams penalties, but with just minutes left, Goode gave his side the lead with his second penalty of the half.

Despite lacking any real sparkle Leicester were still able to create one last opportunity and Williams did not disappoint, knocking over his sixth kick.

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"It was a game we could have lost and were lucky to win. I'll take the four points and that, and Owen's kicking, were about as positive as the day was.

"It was a pretty poor game, from both teams, not a lot of rugby was played.

"There was ill-discipline from both sides. We turned the ball over, we did not control field position, we defended poorly, and our line speed was poor.

"We had senior players making poor decisions and we paid for it. We will move on but going into next week we need to be a lot, lot better than we were today."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:

"We are disappointed. You don't get many opportunities to win here and we had an opportunity today.

"I am not saying we were the better team but the game could have gone either way. It was very tight.

"We had our noses in front and we gave away three silly penalties that cost us in the end.

"That's the disappointing factor. On the positive side we had a response from the players after last week's performance at Exeter, which was unacceptable and

led to questions being asked internally."

Leicester Tigers: Tait; Scully, Goneva, Allen, Benjamin; Williams, Mele; Ayerza, Youngs, Cole; Thorn (capt), Kitchener; Gibson, Salvi, Pearce.

Replacements: Ghiraldini, Rizzo, Balmain, Croft, Barbieri, Harrison, Burns, Smith.

Wasps: Masi; Tagicakibau, Leiua, Bell (capt), Varndell; Goode, Simpson; McIntyre, Shervington, Cittadini; Davies, Myall; Jackson, Thompson, Jones.

Replacements: Johnson, Yapp, Cooper-Woolley, Cannon, Hughes, Davies, Lozowski, Miller.

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).

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