Premiership: Leicester Tigers 16-15 Wasps
|Leicester (7) 16|
|Try: Kalamafoni Con: Ford Pens: Ford 3|
|Wasps (15) 15|
|Tries: Daly 2 Con: Cipriani Pen: Gopperth|
Leicester fought back from eight points down to beat Wasps in a thrilling Premiership game at Welford Road.
Sione Kalamafoni powered over for Leicester, but the hosts lost momentum after losing England centre Manu Tuilagi and wing Jonny May to injuries.
Elliot Daly twice went over in the corner and Jimmy Gopperth added a penalty as Wasps led at the break.
Tigers hit back with three George Ford penalties to lead with four minutes left, and Wasps could not respond.
Leicester's victory took them fifth in the table with four games to play, only three points outside the top four. But the hosts were twice reduced to 14 men.
Wasps scored eight points following Nick Malouf's yellow card for a high tackle on Christian Wade. But Dai Young's side failed to capitalise when Telusa Veainu was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on in the second half.
Tigers' otherwise excellent performance was marred by injuries to May, who appeared to have been knocked unconscious on the field, and to Tuilagi, who left the game with an apparent chest injury which is likely to keep him out for about two weeks.
Wasps' losing bonus point leaves them third in the table, now just four points ahead of Leicester and sixth-placed Gloucester.
They did not show much cutting edge after Daly went off at the end of the first half after dislocating his finger. The England wing left the ground with his arm in a sling, after needing oxygen, the bone having come through the skin.
They could be without winger Daly and lock James Gaskell (twisted ankle) for their trip to Sale in a fortnight.
Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor:
"It was pleasing to keep it together. The result and character at the end was enormous. We knew we would have them in the front row.
"With Mulipola and Genge there you are going to be all right at the back end. They probably won us the game, together with Mathew Tait's try saving tackle on Dan Robson at the end of the first half.
"We could not afford to lose after Saturday's results and this win puts us back in the mix. All we can do now is beat Bath and keep ticking them off."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
"James thinks he has done something pretty nasty. If it's a six-week injury it's the season.
"The bone in Elliot's finger came through. It was quite nasty and painful. I'd like to think it's weeks rather than months."
"There was lots of quality. We created 10 line breaks and six or seven chances. You have to take them. One more score at the start of the second half and we would have been home. But Leicester showed why they in have been in the top four for the last eight years or so."
Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Thompstone, Tuilagi, Toomua, May, George Ford, Harrison; Bateman, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Fitzgerald, Kitchener, Mapapalangi, Hamilton, Kalamafoni.
Replacements: Polota-Nau, Genge, Mulipola, Wells, Evans, Simmons, Tait, Malouf.
Sin Bin: Malouf (21), Veainu (52).
Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, De Jongh, Gopperth, Daly; Cipriani, Robson; McIntryre, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Gaskell, Haskell, Young, Thompson.
Replacements: TJ Harris, Mullan, Moore, Rowlands, Myall, Willis, Simpson, Bassett.
Referee: Luke Pearce