PREVIEW: Wasps v Leicester Tigers

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:31
Large jimmy goppeth wasps smile 800

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
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 8 6 0 2 29
Exeter Chiefs 7 5 0 2 26
Gloucester 8 5 0 3 22
Leicester Tigers 7 5 0 2 21
Bath 7 4 0 3 20
Harlequins 7 4 0 3 20
Northampton Saints 7 4 0 3 20
Newcastle Falcons 7 4 0 3 20
Wasps 7 3 0 4 15
Sale Sharks 7 2 0 5 14
London Irish 7 1 0 6 6
Worcester Warriors 7 0 0 7 3