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Match Reaction: Wasps 22 Leicester Tigers 16

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Dai Young has urged Wasps to learn from their narrow victory over Leicester Tigers after they withstood a second-half comeback.

Wasps sit top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table following the 22-16 success but were pushed all the way at the Ricoh Arena having led 19-0 at one point.

Three first-half tries proved enough in the end but Young admitted his team were frustrated at not being further clear before the Leicester fightback.

He said: “The first half, we came out of the blocks, got some quick ball to play off and we were probably disappointed that we didn’t come away with some more points on the board.

“Once you give a team like Leicester a bit of momentum, it’s very hard to snatch it back. I thought we were in total control in the first half, and pretty much hanging on for dear life in the last 10 minutes.

“You know the players Leicester have got, they are a proud bunch and never know when they are beaten.

“I am pleased we have won – I don’t want to downplay that – but we constantly talk about learning from every game.”

Tries from Christian Wade, Tommy Taylor and Dan Robson had put the home side in control, but Leicester, under the leadership of Aaron Mauger for the first time since Richard Cockerill’s departure, fought back.

Peter Betham’s try and some good goal-kicking by Owen Williams and Freddie Burns earned them a losing bonus point, and Mauger was impressed by the spirit shown by his team.

“I don’t think you could ever question the character of our guys,” he said. “We talked about playing for each other before we got on the bus. I was really proud of the way the guys responded in the second half.

“I thought we put ourselves in a situation to win the game. There were probably a couple of moments which cost us.

“There was a lot of emotion going around, especially in the first part of the week, but everyone has taken responsibility for the situation.

“We have lost some good men this season due to our performances, and we are all responsible for that.

“I thought they stepped up, and to a man they were all outstanding today. They all gave it everything, and played with passion and commitment.

“Although we might have stumbled along at times this season, we are actually not far off those teams at the top. We will take a lot of belief out of that.”

Wasps: Beale, Wade, Daly (Miller 79), Eastmond (Cipriani 58), Bassett, Gopperth, Robson (Simpson 61), Mullan (McIntyre 64), Taylor (Johnson 57), Moore (Cooper-Wooley 58), Symons, Myall, Young, Thompson, Hughes (Haskell 58, Gaskell 60)

Leicester Tigers: Burns, Thompstone, Betham, Smith (Thacker 62), Brady, O Williams (Worth 46), B Youngs (Harrison 79), Genge, T Youngs (McGuigan 68), Cole (Cilliers 69), Slater, Fitzgerald (Kitchener 60), M Williams, Evans, O’Connor (McCaffrey 43)
Not used: Bateman

Wasps

Tries: Wade, Taylor, Robson

Conversions: Gopperth 2

Penalties: Gopperth

Leicester Tigers

Try: Betham

Conversion: Burns

Penalties: O Williams 2, Burns 2

 

Attendance: 27,930

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

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