20th Jan, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Gopperth penalties help Wasps end Leicester's win streak after stunning victory

WASPS ended Leicester Tigers unbeaten start to the Gallagher Premiership season with a stunning 16-13 victory thanks to nine points from the boot of Jimmy Gopperth.


Gopperth kicked three second-half penalties to ensure Wasps became the first side to beat Leicester in a competitive match this season.


A penalty try on three minutes handed Wasps the lead before a converted Julian Montoya try and two George Ford penalties put the Tigers in command.


However, three penalties in the space of 14 minutes after the break handed Wasps a remarkable victory as Leicester’s winning run was halted at 11 matches.


The result means Wasps are now eighth in the Premiership standings having won for just the second time in their last six matches.


And the home side made a blistering start to the derby clash with the referee awarding Wasps a penalty try after Tommy Reffell tackled Elliott Stooke off the ball close to the Tigers try line.


Despite Reffell being sent to the sin bin, Wasps failed to make their man advantage count as Ford kicked two penalties to reduce the hosts’ lead to a single point.


And Leicester completed the turnaround on 31 minutes when Montoya grounded from close range underneath the sticks to give Ford an easy conversion.


England international Ellis Genge then became the second Tigers player to be sent to the sin bin after he struck Francois Hougaard in the face on the stroke of half-time.


However, Wasps were a team transformed after the interval as they took the game to the Tigers and were eventually rewarded with a penalty after Leicester failed to roll away.


Gopperth duly slotted the resulting penalty between the sticks on 54 minutes to move Wasps to within one score of their opponents.


And the veteran kicker then drew Wasps level three minutes later with another well-struck penalty to set up a tense final quarter.


Lee Blackett’s side continued to apply pressure inside the Leicester half and were given the chance to take the lead when the Tigers conceded another penalty deep in their own half.


Gopperth produced another no-nonsense kick to edge Wasps into the lead on 68 minutes as the Coventry club closed in on a memorable victory.


Despite Leicester’s best efforts, Wasps held on to secure a remarkable win with a depleted squad much to the delight of the fans inside the CBS Arena.


Wasps are next in action at home to Toulouse on Saturday, January 15 in the European Champions Cup with kick-off at 1pm at the CBS Arena.

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