With the game in the balance, the Tongan capitalised on poor handling from Wasps to run 90 metres and complete a miserable week for Wasps, during which Dai Young stood down after nine years at the helm as director of rugby.
For much of the match, Wasps looked the more likely winners and led through three penalties from Jimmy Gopperth but a strong second-half performance from the Leicester pack saw them to a deserved triumph.
An elusive run and kick ahead from Gopperth gave Wasps an early platform in the opposition 22 and, when the hosts were penalised, the centre knocked over a simple penalty.
(Continue reading below…)
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Minutes later, Leicester made two more errors. First Hardwick dropped an up-and-under in his own 22 before Jaco Taute’s deliberate knock-on gave Gopperth an easy opportunity to kick a second penalty.
Wasps continued to have the better of the first quarter and led 6-0 at the end of it as their opponents struggled to make any impact, their cause not being helped by numerous unforced errors.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 13, 2020
Hardwick was then off target with a 45-metre attempt before Wasps suffered an injury blow when their prop, Simon McIntyre, was helped off.
Leicester had the better of the second quarter but they could not capitalise on a couple of promising positions in the visitors’ 22 and, at the end of a very poor first half, Wasps held a 6-3 lead.
There's a lot of respect out there for the Welshman ????????https://t.co/T9978Te1hc
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 11, 2020
In the second row’s absence, Gopperth and Reid, who had just replaced Hardwick at fly-half, exchanged penalties.
Lavanini returned from the bin as the home pack became increasingly dominant and, in the 55th minute, Tigers took the lead for the first time when Bateman finished off a line-out surge.
Reid converted to give Leicester a 13-9 advantage going into the final quarter but Wasps should have regained the lead.
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However the wing lost possession as he dived for the line as he sought to evade a desperate cover tackle from Ben White.
This mistake proved disastrous for Wasps as, soon afterwards, their handling movement broke down and Veainu’s magic made them pay.
– Press Association
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