European champions Wasps are still searching for a first win of the season after being edged out at the death in an error-strewn GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP encounter with Leicester.
Only five survivors from last season’s Heineken Cup final lined up at Adams Park in a game low on quality which was full of unforced mistakes and missed kicks at goal.
Wasps wing Tom Voyce and Leicester centre Ollie Smith traded first-half tries and after that it was a battle of the kickers, with Andy Goode’s four penalties and one from Johne Murphy giving the Tigers some measure of revenge.
Dave Walder replied with a drop-goal and penalty with Mark Van Gisbergen and Danny Cipriani also on target for the hosts.
But Wasps will feel hard done by after Chris Bishay was denied 10 minutes from time when Matt Smith flew in to knock the ball away illegally.
The last time these sides met, Wasps outwitted their rivals to claim the Heineken Cup with a 25-9 win at Twickenham.
Four months later and Louis Deacon and Andy Goode for the Tigers and Fraser Waters, Tom Voyce and Tom Palmer for the hosts were the only survivors in a game low on atmosphere in front of a 7,313 crowd.
Walder’s early drop-goal was cancelled out by Goode’s fourth-minute penalty before Leicester grabbed the opening try after an uncharacteristic error from Van Gisbergen.
The full-back spilled a high ball under no real pressure and Sam Vesty passed out of the tackle to put centre Ollie Smith into the right-hand corner after eight minutes.
Wasps responded rapidly with Bishay beating midfield tackles to give Voyce a 20-metre run for the line.
Walder missed the conversion, then failed to find the target with two kickable penalties before converting a straightforward shot to pass 1,500 points in Leicester colours.
The celebrations were short-lived, though, when he was yellow-carded for handling in a ruck five minutes before the interval.
Van Gisbergen levelled the scores, only for Murphy to take over the kicking and edge the Tigers in front once more.
Walder’s 42nd-minute penalty levelled the scores with Murphy missing an equally easy shot before Goode’s return from the sin-bin.
The fly-half made way for Cipriani, who added some shape to Wasps going forward – but their creaking scrum was under increasing pressure and gave away a penalty which Goode stroked over from long-range.
Wasps, though, had a case for a penalty try when Bishay was foiled in his attempt to ground his own chip through the defence by Matt Smith, who flapped the ball out of play.
Cipriani kicked the resultant penalty to level the scores once more 12 minutes from time.
But with Leicester’s forwards controlling the ball the visitors worked their way back down the field for Goode to drill the ball through the posts from 30 metres to make sure of the points.