Telusa Veainu’s debut try proved vital as Leicester Tigers saw off Wasps to keep up their unbeaten start to the Aviva Premiership Rugby season.
Wasps’ poor record at Welford Road continues – they have not won at the ground since 2008 – as Vereniki Goneva and Veainu crossed for Leicester's tries while Lorenzo Cittadini gave Wasps a late consolation.
Goneva went over after only four minutes before the Tongan winger was introduced after the interval and crossed almost immediately after coming on.
Owen Williams added 14 points from the kicking tee for the Tigers who have won three from three to start the new season while Wasps’ only away win in the league in 2015 was at London Welsh in April.
Richard Cockerill's men have started the season strongly and are now unbeaten in 11 at Welford Road so it was no surprise they were fastest out of the blocks.
There were only four minutes on the clock when Goneva went over for the game’s first try – the Fijian dancing over down the left having started the move with a break down the right a minute before.
Williams – handed his first start in eight months after a late injury to Tommy Bell – kicked the extras and it got worse for Wasps as they lost prop Matt Mullan to injury soon after.
Gopperth did reply with a penalty but Williams hit two of his own as the battle at the breakdown intensified and Tigers opened a ten-point lead.
Elliot Daly’s thundering long-range effort trimmed the lead before Gopperth slotted his second to make it 13-9 with half an hour on the clock.
Christian Wade thought he had the Wasps’ first try soon after but the it was ruled out by the TMO for an off-the-ball obstruction from James Downey on Williams.
With a four-point lead at the break, the first score of the second period was always going to be crucial and it was the Tigers who got it.
Williams slotted another penalty to push the lead back out to seven points and Wasps’ comeback hopes were not helped by a moment of madness from Gopperth before the hour mark.
Chasing his own up and under – the fly-half jumped dangerously into Mathew Tait and was given a yellow card.
The Tigers did not take long to make their man advantage count either – Veainu going over down the right after they had worked the overlap well – replacement scrum-half Jono Kitto integral to the move.
Williams missed the conversion but added his fourth penalty of the day moments later to establish a healthy 24-9 lead.
Late on – with 15 men back on the pitch – Cittadini barged over from short range for a consolation score but that was as good as it got for Wasps as the Tigers held on to deny them a losing bonus point.