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'In the dressing room afterwards I couldn't speak... there was huge emotion'

By PA
PA

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Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said he could hardly speak due to emotion after his side pulled off a shock 16-13 win to bring to an end Leicester’s remarkable run.

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With 15 consecutive wins, Tigers were on the cusp of breaking a number of club and Premiership records but ill-discipline cost them dear as injury-ravaged Wasps, who had picked up only one win in their last eight matches, tore up the form book.

Ellis Genge was yellow-carded for pushing Francois Hougaard in the face and Tommy Reffell was also sin-binned.

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Veteran Jimmy Gopperth was Wasps’ hero by kicking three second-half penalties.

Wasps were also awarded a penalty try, while Tigers responded with a try from Julian Montoya, with George Ford adding two penalties and a conversion.

Blackett said: “In the dressing room afterwards I couldn’t speak as there was huge emotion as our whole performance was based on loads of energy and emotion.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was gritty and we scrapped throughout.

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“Our young half-backs, (Charlie Atkinson and Sam Wolstenholme) managed the game really well and that’s what you have to do against Leicester.

“At half-time, we emphasised that we had to stay in the kicking game, be patient, and take the opportunities that came our way.

“We won’t get carried away with the result but it’s a really special win as we became more confident as the game went on and it was as good as I’ve seen us emotionally.”

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Wasps were without 17 players through illness and injury, with prop Tom West and lock Vaea Fifita both withdrawing from the starting line-up.

Blackett said: “You have to be adaptable but we lost Tom (West) through illness then Robin Hislop struggled from an early stage with an injury so we were always under pressure in the scrums but we managed to win a crucial penalty five minutes from the end when we were right up against it.”

Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick was philosophical about his side’s defeat and the loss of the opportunity to break a number of records.

He said: “Honestly I’m not concerned about records, I take each game as it comes and today we had plenty of opportunities in the first half but didn’t take them.

“We were out-played in the third quarter when we gave away too many penalties and made too many errors.

“If you’re off your game in the Premiership, any team can beat any other in the competition and that’s what happened today.

“The players still worked exceptionally hard but we were on the wrong end of the scoreboard and will learn from it.”

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