PREVIEW: Wasps v Leicester Tigers

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:31
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PREMIERSHIP SEMIFINAL: On Saturday Ricoh Arena becomes the twelfth venue to host a Premiership semifinal when Wasps welcome Leicester Tigers.

The two clubs met in five previous semifinals, but have never faced each other in the Premiership Semifinals.  

The host, Wasps have had a stellar season and even grabbed five awards at the Premiership Rugby' annual ceremony.

Under the guidance of Dai Young - and with the help of players like Jimmy Gopperth, Christian Wade, Elliot Daly and Joe Launchbury - Wasps ended the season on top of the Premiership table. 

However, Wasps' semi-finals performance seemed to lack that intensity. They have lost their last four semi-final appearances in all tournaments and in Premiership Rugby they have played in six previous semi-final fixtures winning four and losing two.

The visitors Leicester Tigers face a stern test this Saturday.

This is Leicester’s record-breaking 13th successive appearance in the semifinals and despite sneaking into the fourth spot the Tigers are eyeing their first Premiership title since 2013.

Probably one of the club with the richest history in the English tournament, the Tigers managed to end fourth despite three sacked coached and a host of injuries to key players.

Prediction: Wasps only defeat in the last seven rounds of Premiership Rugby was 13-32 at Harlequins on April 28. Wasps were the only side with a 100 percent winning record at home during the regular season, only failing to pick up maximum points twice – against Exeter in round One and Leicester in round 13. Wasps have not been defeated at the Ricoh Arena in Premiership Rugby since Saracens were the visitors on December 27, 2015.
Leicester Tigers only defeat in their last seven first team matches was 21-27 to Bath at Twickenham on April 8.
Wasps have won their last three fixtures against Leicester whilst the Tigers have visited Ricoh Arena on three previous occasions, winning once on their first visit in May 2015. Thus, Wasps will win this semifinal by 9 points.

Teams:

Wasps: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Willie Le Roux, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 Josh Bassett

Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Jack Roberts, 23 Matt Smith

Date: Saturday, May 20
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Kick-off: 17.15 (17.15 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Thomas Foley, Paul Dix
TMO: David Grashoff

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 20 October 2017
Scarlets v Bath 18h45 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 21 October 2017
Australia v New Zealand 09h00 Brisbane
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Sharks v Blue Bulls 12h30 Durban
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Leicester Tigers v Castres 16h30 Welford Road
Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 0 1 23
Exeter Chiefs 6 4 0 2 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 0 2 20
Newcastle Falcons 6 4 0 2 20
Bath 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 3 0 3 15
Gloucester 6 3 0 3 14
Sale Sharks 6 2 0 4 13
Wasps 6 2 0 4 10
London Irish 6 1 0 5 6
Worcester Warriors 6 0 0 6 1