Premiership: Leicester Tigers 18-9 Wasps
|Leicester (3) 18|
|Tries: Bateman, Veainu Con: Reid Pens: Hardwick, Reid|
|Wasps (6) 9|
|Pens: Gopperth 3|
Second-half tries from Greg Bateman and Telusa Veainu helped second-bottom Leicester come from behind to beat Wasps in the Premiership.
Two Jimmy Gopperth penalties put Wasps 6-3 up after a forgettable first half.
Tigers got the first try when Bateman crossed from a close-range maul.
Zach Kibirige almost replied, denied only by Ben White's tackle, but that proved a pivotal moment as, just a minute later, Veainu grabbed a loose pass to run in and score for Tigers.
Wasps slip to 10th after interim head coach Lee Blackett's first game in charge, following the midweek decision that director of rugby Dai Young should 'step back' from first-team duties.
Leicester are now just two points behind Wasps after only their third Premiership win of the season.
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The hosts had Tomas Lavanini sin-binned early in the second half for a dangerous tackle on Wasps' Nizaam Carr, as he was in the air from the line-out.
A first tryless game of the top-flight season looked possible before the Leicester pack pushed over, but just as important was White's last-ditch tackle on Wasps wing Kibirige, causing him to lose his grasp of the ball as he approached the line.
The challenge was on the high side but not punished and moments later Veainu scooped a misplaced Wasps pass to run the length of the pitch and score Leicester's match-sealing try.
Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy:
"In the first half, we gave Wasps too many opportunities and we didn't start the second half very well, conceding another score and then going down to 14.
"We showed great effort to immediately get back into their territory and from then on, we were more accurate and got our rolling maul going to good effect."
On Ben White's match-winning tackle: "It was a huge moment and it just shows what can happen if you don't give up as the winger should score that every time but Ben's effort was remarkable."
Wasps interim head coach Lee Blackett:
"Zach scores that try 99 times out of a hundred and then, when we throw a poor pass, they go the length to score. Games in these conditions are won and lost by small margins and they won the little moments.
"Losing Dai on Tuesday was a surprise to all of us but it didn't affect our performance and we won't be using his departure as an excuse.
"It didn't affect our preparation. We were in a good place, and so it proved for the first 30 minutes of the game."
Leicester: Veainu; Holmes, Taute, Eastmond, Hughes; Hardwick, White; Bateman, Youngs (capt), Cole, Lavanini, Spencer, Liebenberg, Taufua, Kalamafoni.
Replacements: Polota-Nau, Leatigaga, Heyes, Wells, Reffell, Simmons, Reid, Worth.
Wasps: Watson; Kibirige, Le Bourgeois, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Robson (co-capt); McIntyre, Taylor, Brookes, Rowlands, Flament, J Willis, Young (co-capt), Carr.
Replacements: Oghre, Zhvania, Alo, Shields, Vailanu, Wolstenholme, Searle, Spink.
Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU).