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Leicester 19-24 Wasps

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani dances through the tackle of Goode to score the winning try

Leicester (9) 19
Tries: Rabeni
Pens: Goode 4
Cons: Goode

Wasps (14) 24
Try: Waters 2, Cipriani
Pens: Walder
Cons: Walder 2, Cipriani

Danny Cipriani grabbed a fine solo try as Wasps avenged last week's EDF Energy Cup semi-final defeat to Leicester to keep alive their play-off hopes.

A first-minute Andy Goode penalty for the Tigers was overturned when Fraser Waters crossed twice inside 20 minutes.

Two Goode penalties reduced the deficit and although Riki Flutey's sin-binning went unpunished, Seru Rabeni's try gave Tigers the lead for the first time.

But Cipriani danced through to win it for Wasps despite Goode's late penalty.

It was Shaun Edwards's side's first ever league win at Welford Road and was the result of sheer grit and determination - as well as Cipriani's excellent score.

Dave Walder was at the heart of Wasps' early dominance, converting Waters's first try after he had been set free by Joe Hart, and then providing the long pass that allowed Waters to stride over for his second.

A 40-metre burst from Johne Murphy proceeded Goode reducing the deficit with the boot, before Paul Sackey's try-saving tackle on Mario Castrogiovanni on the line kept Wasps in front.

Inside centre Flutey was sent to the sin-bin on 30 minutes for being off his feet, and Goode's short-range kick further reduced the arrears to 14-9.

The Wasps defence was finally breached six minutes after the break as Rabeni took Goode's ball and skipped past Walder and Simon Shaw's feeble tackles to touch down.

However, the expected home onslaught never came and Cipriani followed a Walder penalty with a jinking run through the Tigers defence from 20 yards out to give Wasps the cushion they wanted.

Another Goode penalty ensured a frantic finish - but although Cipriani missed a long-range penalty to make the game safe, Wasps held on.

  • Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan:
    "You have to give a lot of credit to Shaun Edwards because the defence was excellent. You don't often dominate a Leicester pack and we knew that we needed to do it here.

    "We were brutally honest with ourselves after the game last week. It wasn't good enough in a Wasps shirt. We were second best in most areas and that hurt everyone.

    "It's getting tighter and tighter and there will be a few more twists and turns before the end of the season. We have got to keep winning but if we keep playing like that, we will give ourselves a chance (of the play-offs)."

  • Leicester head coach Marcelo Loffreda:
    "It is very difficult to play against the same team twice in such a short space of time. We knew they were going to come back at us and try to get back at us for the semi-final.

    "In the first half we lacked concentration and made a lot of mistakes. We lost our shape in defence and it cost us two tries. We lacked intensity and physicality at the breakdown and we didn't compete in the set piece.

    "We have to make sure that we finish the season as the most consistent of the teams around us because it is very close."

    Leicester: J. Murphy, Varndell, Rabeni, Hipkiss, Tuilagi, Goode, Ellis, Ayerza, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, L. Deacon, Kay Corry, Croft, Crane.
    Replacements: Kayser for Chuter (63), White for Castrogiovanni (60), B. Deacon for L. Deacon (70), Blaze for Kay (47).
    Not Used: Laussucq, Vesty, O. Smith.

    Wasps: Cipriani, Sackey, Waters, Flutey, Lewsey, Walder, Reddan, Payne, Ibanez, Vickery, Shaw, Palmer, Haskell, Rees, Hart.
    Replacements: Waldouck for Walder (59), Barnard for Payne (56), Buckland for Ibanez (53), French for Vickery (56), Webber for Rees (70).
    Not Used: Skivington, McMillan.

    Sin Bin: Flutey (30).

    Att: 17,498

    Ref: C White (RFU).

  • see also
    Leicester 34-24 Wasps
    22 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
    Leicester 36-23 Saracens
    15 Mar 08 |  English
    Wasps 29-25 Harlequins
    09 Mar 08 |  English

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