Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Wasps withstand Tigers to extend proud Wycombe record
WASPS put all the pieces together at Adams Park today to dethrone English champions Leicester Tigers 22-12 and take a healthy stride up the Aviva Premiership table in the process.
An impeccable defence underpinned their second victory of the season, but Andy Goode picked a good day to have his best game in a Wasps shirt while the return of Elliot Daly instantly restored the threat to Wasps' attacks.
Shorn of their international stars, Tigers battled gamely throughout, but two Goode drop goals midway through the second half settled this match and by the end the hosts were so cockahoop they turned down a simple three points to try and rub Tigers noses in it further with a second try.
It didn't come, but they won't mind a jot after a victory and a performance that could well be the launchpad they've been waiting for.
#Wasps played into the increasingly blustery conditions in the first half, but it was the black shirts whipping up a storm with Christian Wade's try giving them a slender interval lead.
He went over with nine minutes gone as Wasps turned their first attack of the match into the full seven points.
Joe Simpson, who looked back to his lively best, set up the attack with a quick tap penalty on half way and Goode rolled back the years with a 30m break deep into Tigers territory.
Leicester rushed back to hold up Wasps just short of the line, but quick ball exposed them out wide and Chris Bell's missed pass sent Wade over.
Goode converted to make it 7-0, and although Tigers cut the deficit to 13-9 with three Owen Williams penalties against two from Goode, the hosts went down the tunnel for half time full of belief Apart from Wade's try, there had plenty to be positive about for Dai Young's team.
Daly's return at full back restored much of the menace to Wasps' attack, and Simpson too had injected urgency into the backs with plenty of quick ball.
But this game wasn't just about the backs.
The Wasps pack was demolished in the first scrum of the match, but from the second they exacted muscular revenge to win the penalty that resulted in Wade's score, while at the breakdown Ashley Johnson, Ed Jackson and Guy Thompson were ferocious competitors to ensure their team enjoyed a decent share of the ball.
Defensively Wasps had stood up as well.
The first half ended with their studs backed up to their own try line, but they didn't retreat over it and the hosts had also shown their resolve when Tigers turned on the power after 20 minutes.
A muscle-bulging scrum got Tigers' blood up, but huge tackles from Ben Jacobs, Jackson and Bell stopped their big runners in their tracks and Wasps survived with their four-point lead intact.
As is so often the case in these push against shove matches though, the first score of the second half was critical and Tigers looked certain to get it.
They came out fully charged after the restart and penned Wasps back on their tryline for fully ten minutes.
Wasps were a man down for five of them after hooker Carlos Festuccia was yellow carded, but despite incredible pressure the barricade didn't break and when Simpson snatched the ball out of a Tigers hand relief was at hand.
Goode sent the clearance kick booming up the half way line and the momentum of the match was back with the hosts.
A cheeky Goode drop goal in the 53rd minute confirmed it after another lightning break from Daly, and as the heavens opened and the wind whipped through the stadium, everything seemed to be going in their favour.
A moment later Festuccia returned and from the very next play Goode repeated the trick with an even longer drop goal to stretch their lead to ten points.
A fourth Williams penalty shaved Wasps' advantage to a single score, but Dai Young's team remained resolute and when Goode slammed over a 55m penalty from out on the left with three minutes remaining, their best result of the season from by far their best performance was in the bag.
Comments are closed on this article.