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Tigers v Wasps AP Match Report

By TigerR
April 14 2014

Tigers Stay in the Hunt - The fixture list for the 2013-14 season has Tiger playing three teams in the top six in the last three games of the ‘regular season’, two of these are away from Welford Road and the game at home is against the league leading Saracens team that have a habit of victory in the Tigers’ lair.

As I boarded the train at St Pancras International it seemed to me that a bonus point victory in the last ‘easy’ game of the season was required.  Of course no game against Wasps is ever going to be easy.  Nonetheless Richard Cockerill took the opportunity to start several second line players and pack his bench with quality.  Included on the bench was Geoff Parling appearing for the first time for many months after a serious injury. One player I was glad to see get a rest was Logo Mulipola who in the absence of Dan Cole is key to the Tigers having a dominant scrum in the post season. 

It was a dry overcast day but with a steady wind blowing from the South West.  The buzz on the Terrace was all about Niki Goneva signing a new contract.  He has been outstanding in attack this season and would have been a dispiriting loss to a Tigers side which just seems to be finding its feet again at the top level.

Wasps started well pinning Tigers in their half of the pitch and they turned down a shot at goal from near half way for a kick to the corner and it paid off as they caught and drove and spread the attack in front of their posts where a further penalty was awarded giving Andy Goode a simple kick to put his latest team ahead.

Tigers continued to be pinned back until Tuilagi emerged from the middle of a ruck and had a free run towards the Wasps 22. It was Wasps that were now pinned back partly due to two charge downs by Graham Kitchener. Kitchener then won a lineout to set up a drive which took the ball deep into the Wasps 22. Ben Youngs made a flat pass to Tuilagi who at sped was impossible to stop and he scored under the posts. Owen Williams landed the conversion twice having anticipated the decision of the TMO the first time.

Wasps came close the stinging Tigers from the restart with a deep kick off that saw Goneva and Smith both go for the ball and put each other off. Wasps attacked through their rawards and then wnet wide and Will Helu went over the try line but tackled by Tuilagi who the TMO  confirmed managed to prevent a touch down.

Wasps continued to press and were good value for a try and the lead ten minutes before half time. Good variety in attack saw Guy Thompson on an angled line with a man outside beat the last defender Scully to go over. Goode converted to make the score 7-10.

From the restart Scully jumped above the Wasps catcher to run into the Wasps 22, where is he was tackled 5m from the line. Wasps were all out of position and went off their feet to kill the opportunity. Amazingly no yellow card was shown. Tigers decided to kick to the corner and drive the lineout but lost possession and Wasps cleared.

Tigers still had Wasps pinned back but they met stiff resistance. Eventually Tait found a small gap though the Wasps line and passed inside to Goneva who used his weight and strength to stay out of touch despite the efforts of two Wasps and score a try in the left corner. Williams kicked a very tricky conversion to give Tigers a half time lead.

In search of a step up in performance Tigers brought on Ayerza and Mulipola early after the break. Tigers pressed and Tuilagi broke tackles in the Wasps 22 to score his second try which went unconverted.

Flood then replaced Smith and Mele replaced Youngs as Wasps frustrated Tigers.  Mulipola had to leave with a worrying knee injury but Parling joined the effort to a big cheer. Wasps failed to release Goneva in the tackle and Williams kicked a penalty to take Tigers 12 points ahead which seemed a bit conservative.  Wasps had Tigers under pressure with a couple of close-range line-outs.  Then a scrum on Tigers 22 lead to a Wasps’ try off the back of a scrum. Daly slipped a grubber kick to the left corner where Tommy Bell touched down.

This roused the crowd and the Tigers players who from a good restart were able to press for a bonus-point try. A high tackle on Scully saw Tigers kick for the corner with three minutes left. Gibson caught the ball and great control from the Tigers pack saw them go over with Mele emerging with the ball. Thus was the bonus point obtained.

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Tigers v Wasps AP Match Report (IP Logged)
14/04/2014 18:52
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014:04:19:19:56:15 by Tiggs.

Re: Tigers v Wasps AP Match Report
Stopsy (IP Logged)
14/04/2014 20:33
Many thanks Rex

Re: Tigers v Wasps AP Match Report
Rich W (IP Logged)
14/04/2014 21:16
Good one Rex. Thanks. Pretty much what I saw.


Re: Tigers v Wasps AP Match Report
Tiggs (IP Logged)
19/04/2014 19:55
Thanks Rex !!

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