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Match reaction: Leicester Tigers 19-14 Wasps

Match reaction: Leicester Tigers 19-14 Wasps

Leicester Tigers’ Gallagher Premiership Rugby clash with Midlands rivals Wasps at Welford Road made for an afternoon full of drama and intrigue.

The home side recovered from finding themselves 14-9 down at the break to claim victory, with fly-half Joe Ford amassing every one of their points.

Things could have been so different, though, with Wasps coming within a whisker of snatching victory with the final attack of the game.

Man of the match – Joe Ford

It couldn’t be anyone else, could it?

With his brother and teammate George away on international duty, the Ford in possession of the No.10 shirt was the undisputed driving force behind the Tigers’ comeback.

Not just impressive from the tee, the 28-year-old also grabbed his team’s only try of the afternoon, making a smart, incisive run to just about dot the ball down over the line.

Moment of the match

Few matches during the 2018-19 have had the kind of grandstand finish witnessed at Welford Road, with Wasps convinced they’d nicked it at the death.

Having won the ball back in the dying throes, the visitors rapped at the at the door time and again, and those in white shirts celebrated wildly as they believed Biyi Alo to have scored as he dived for the try-line.

However, with a mountain of bodies in the way, the television match official was unable to award the try and the Tigers survived, with supporters of both teams having been put through the wringer at the very last.

Try of the match

Marcus Watson’s second first-half score for Wasps stole undoubtedly stole the limelight.

The winger made a bamboozling break through the heart of the Tigers line-up and ended up isolating Jonah Holmes as he edged in the direction of the right flank.

With Holmes unable to decide if he should stick or twist, Watson turned on the afterburners and stormed over the line for a spectacular try.

What they said

Leicester’s Joe Ford said: “We did it tough.

“We lost two nines early on, we lost Gareth Owen early on, so it [was] a patched-up back line – it just shows the character of the team.

“We said at half-time: ‘it’s going to test us to the last second’ and it did. We got a bit lucky there and we’ll take it.”

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: “First and foremost, you have to congratulate Leicester because they had a lot of injuries and players out of position – they did well to still be in the game, so you have to give them a lot of credit.

“We didn’t do everything perfectly and there’s plenty we can do better but that was a game we should have won.”

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